Hospitality Overcomes Hostility

It was 2017. Donald Trump had just been inaugurated. The president’s bad behavior of the past frustrated many women. They decided to march on Washington in protest. But pro-life women were not welcome.

This event was exclusive to a particular mindset–one that viewed the sanctity of human life stance with hostility.

But not all the women shared hostility for all things pro-life.

And that some women learned more about the pro-life perspective that day may simply be due to an aversion to the porta-potty.

if you’ve ever marched in Washington, you are either acquainted with the porta-potty, aka porta-john, or you strategically plan your bathroom breaks. If you are marching in the cold of January, you work harder at the strategic plan of finding bathroom facilities.

In Building the Benedict Option, Leah Libresco tells the story of the Dominican friars of Washington, DC, who welcomed pro-choice protesters to use their bathroom facilities in 2017. They opened their doors to women protesting the election of Donald Trump–protesting the rise to office of a president whose past behavior had been unsavory–a president who claimed to be pro-life.

At first, it was only 12 women seeking to use the facilities; then it became more than 100. Libresco quotes the account of Brother Martin Davis:

“The peculiar situation of some people wearing ‘Get your rosaries off my ovaries’ next to men wearing rosaries on their belts did not stop many [of the women] from inquiring into what brings us to live lives dedicated to Christ” (105-06).

Libresco explains that the friars answered the women’s questions about their work and their beliefs about abortion and unborn life, among other topics. The grateful women then passed a hat collecting over $100 for the church.

They warned Brother Martin to avoid reading the text on the hat they passed.

It was an unlikely encounter and yet a profound one. The friars may have found the march discouraging. They might have withdrawn and stayed behind closed doors. They might have lost hope.

Libresco: “To be a Christian means to believe that hopelessness is always a misapprehension at best, and, at worst, a form of spiritual attack” (158).

More than 100 women saw the beauty of Christ that day and heard the message of life. The march’s organizers tried to shut out that message. But a simple act of hospitality on a cold day shut the door against hostility. And it didn’t take much.

From Libresco: “[T]he friars weren’t engaging in traditional witness. They weren’t preaching or participating in a street prayer vigil” (106-07).

They were just being hospitable Christians. They obeyed a calling from God and opened a door where minds and hearts had been closed.

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

34 Replies to “Hospitality Overcomes Hostility”

  1. This is such a beautiful story! I find it so disheartening how many people attack each other in pursuit of “peace.” What a convicting reminder that we can listen to one another in love without supporting their world views.

  2. Thanks for this. Prayers that we can all be hospitable Christians, whether toward friends or those we believe to be enemies.

  3. THIS! Part of my frustration with the pro life movement, and today’s evangelicals, is their lack of loving-kindness to anyone who does not hold to Christian values. Thank you for posting this. I will definitely check out more of your blogs.

  4. These simple acts of kindness and regard shown for the humanity of others tear down walls. When we put down our gadgets and interact with other humans face to face, the opportunity exists to shine forth through our actions a real testimony of the kindness of Christ and his witness in us. Offering a bathroom. That’s as essential as it gets. Thank God for these priests.

  5. What an awesome story! Sadly, you don’t hear this in the news. But thankfully, I heard it hear. So good….

    Love this statement: “…a simple act of hospitality on a cold day shut the door against hostility. ”

    This is what Christians need to do more than ever living in times like these. We need to SHOW Jesus by what we do. Thanks for this post!

  6. Beautiful story and example of hospitality and unconditional love for our fellow man…women. 🙂

    Love this last line, “They obeyed a calling from God and opened a door where minds and hearts had been closed.”

  7. Nancy, thank you for sharing this inspiring story. So often we agree on some issues but not others. One thing is certain, everyone appreciates a kind word or deed. I pray that as we seek to offer kindness that the news of Jesus will be spread, as it was in this story.

  8. My deepest wish is to be like those friars in my interactions with others. I want them to SEE Christ IN ME and wonder why I’m not the angry Christian they’ve decided all believers to be. For King and Country’s lyrics, “They will know us by our love” (based, I believe on John 13:35) . Praying that each of us is known by our love!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.