One day Elisha went to Shunem. A rich woman lived there. She urged him to eat something, so whenever he passed by, he would stop in to eat some food. She said to her husband, “Look, I know that he is a holy man of God and he passes by regularly. Let’s make a small room on the roof. We’ll set up a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp for him there. Then when he comes to us, he can stay there.”
So one day Elisha came there, headed to the room on the roof, and lay down. -2 Kings 4:8-11
A mentor of mine keeps an Elisha room for people traveling by. Most of us call it a guest room, but hers is an Elisha room. It’s outfitted with only the things named that Elisha’s room had: a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. It is simple. But it is moving. Isn’t true hospitality exactly that?
Elisha is hard at work sharing God’s word. The Shunemite woman and her husband can afford him some creature comforts, so they do. They expect nothing in return, except perhaps the satisfaction that they are a part of the Lord’s work in this small way.
What person who passes by you today will receive your welcome?
O God of simple graces, help me to notice who I may welcome today. And help me not to refuse any welcome given to me. In Christ, Amen.
Straighten and simplify your guest quarters today. As you do, ask God to be straightening out and simplifying your heart to welcome others.
Make a “welcome” sign to hang up on your front door! Tell the children the story of Elisha’s room while you make it.