When I started thinking of a word for X, the only one I could think of was xylophone. We all had one when we were kids, usually a brightly colored one that we banged on to the chagrin of our parents. It was usually given to us by a relative for our birthday or Christmas. A parent would never buy this for their child knowing what they’d be in for.
But that’s not the word I want to use this week. When I Googled words starting with X , a list of words that I never heard of or saw, let alone could pronounce came up. When I saw Xenodochy I likeD the look of this word. I looked up the meaning and realized that someone had once said that’s what I do!
Xenodochy. n. Reception of strangers; hospitality
You see, I was the welcome and membership Elder at my church for several years. I was in charge of meeting members and visitors every Sunday and making everyone feel welcome. I provided coffee and donuts for Fellowship time after the service to encourage people to stay and get to know each other, especially trying to connect visitors with the congregation.
My friend Kathleen often says of me that “There isn’t a stranger out there that you don’t know”. Like the saying goes (or maybe I’m making this up) A Friend is a Stranger you just haven’t met yet”. I often eavesdrop on conversations and if appropriate (or sometimes even if it isn’t) I make a comment. I have met the most interesting people this way. They are no longer strangers after we’ve had a conversation!
I try to practice Xenodochy all the time. You never know how it will turn out and who you’ll meet. Give it a try!