Photo and Commentary ©2017 by Maylan Schurch
Friday, December 1, 2017

Can you decipher the mishmash in the photo? Thursday afternoon I stopped by a retirement center to visit one of our church members. In the parking lot I came upon a long line of parking spaces stamped as you see above. Can you make out the words?

If I’m interpreting these hieroglyphics correctly, the word “RESERVED” was stenciled first on this relatively fresh blacktop. Shortly thereafter, an administrative decision was made, and “VISITOR” was stenciled over the top, in larger font.

While the double message is quite confusing—and this unreadability actually caused me to avoid these spaces just to be safe—the intent is clear: what were once exclusively reserved spots are now open to visitors.

Isn’t that the way our churches—and our hearts—should be? My own church parking spaces aren’t stenciled with any words, but I do urge our members to park their own cars, as I do, in our allotted segment of the high school lot nearby, so several hospitable spaces can be left for first-time visitors. In the same way, if you were expecting visitors to your home, you might park your own car out by the curb so your guests could use your driveway.

The Bible has a few verses about the importance of hospitality, verses which reflect the friendly heart of our Creator. Why not click the link below, and compare your heart with the four verses you’ll see?