Once upon a time when we knew our neighbors—their names, their stories, their hopes and dreams, their aches and awes. We shared meals with them. We shared our lives with them. We shared a deep commitment to the common good with them.
Once upon a time when we reached out to the stranger—with acts of mercy, with respect and understanding, with charity and neighborliness. We shared our hands with them. We shared our treasures with them. We shared the sidewalk with them.
But in an age of increasing isolation, hostility, and indifference, that time has largely come and gone. We do not get out enough. We scarcely know our neighbors. We often fear the stranger. We are busy living our own lives, comfortably detached from one another, unaware that we need one another if we are ever to be most fully at home in the world.
The antidote to the isolation and hostility of our day, and the pathway that leads us to that home in the world, is found in living the hospitable life—practicing the boundless welcome of God with the neighbors and strangers among us.
In You Need to Get Out More, Mark Feldmeir provokes us to leave the house and make a home in the world. With deep wisdom and fresh insight, Feldmeir suggests that the home we are searching for is not so much a place that is found, but one that is formed by intentional practices of Christian hospitality. Taking up these practices, Feldmeir argues, will lead us to holy encounters with strangers and neighbors along the sidewalks, city streets, and all the other ordinary places we pitch our daily tents.
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