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More than a Temporary Feeling

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary last year by visiting a lovely hotel near home. My husband had such a busy schedule leading up to it, and our time was limited, so we were super excited to stay at a swanky hotel using our rewards points and enjoy being together without having to travel all that far from home. As we walked into the beautiful lobby, we were struck by its elegance and Florida charm, with incredible ocean views and gorgeous skies. Then as we went to the front desk, we were welcomed by the front desk hostess saying, “Welcome. We are so happy you are here to celebrate your anniversary with us, Mr. and Mrs. Nonaka. Your room isn’t quite ready yet. However, feel free to visit the pool and spa while you wait. Here is a key to the guest lounge to get changed.”

We looked at each other with huge smiles, thanked her, and headed to the pool to change and sit. Along the way, those who worked at the hotel often greeted us by saying Happy Anniversary and addressing us by name. We felt exceptional, cared for, and known. This was just the beginning of a very sweet, relaxing, and memorable weekend. Later, as we got to our room, a lovely personalized anniversary gift awaited us! The hotel continued to take great care and attention to detail in every interaction and activity, making our time with them one we would never forget!

Capturing the art of making a person feel like they belong, are special, and are important takes a great deal of intentional thought and execution. Why do they do all of this for their guests? You might say, well, you paid for it! And that would be partially true. However, there is more to it than that. They also do it to increase the likelihood that we will return. They do it because it is good business, and they are a luxury hotel. It is a service and a marketing strategy. They take time to strategize and study the different activities, services & kindnesses to offer people that will make their stay delightful. All of these things wrapped up into a beautiful service package create an atmosphere that most people would desire to have again someday.

The thing is, it doesn’t last, and it is very “on the surface.” Don’t get me wrong, it was AMAZING, but it was temporary, and they didn’t really know me. It was one weekend of polite kindness. It may or may not come again - who knows?

It made me think of how Jesus was with His disciples and friends and how it wasn’t temporary. He was more than “on the surface”; he was deep and abiding. How He connected with and invited people to come along with Him made people feel known and cared for. Important and valued. It was lasting. His motives and purpose were greater. It was and is eternal.

As women, we have the capacity to be like Christ in this way. How we intentionally take time to know others and care for them matters. We can give and share love with those around us that represents who Christ is and His great love for the world. As an overflow of God’s love for us, we get to be more than a service of kindness with no depth or complete purpose. We can take the time to bring love, light, and life into the everyday.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love. In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4: 7-12 (ESV)

To be like Christ in this way takes intentionality and time. To know people and show our care takes an investment. Sometimes big, sometimes small. For a hotel to give such beautiful touches and experiences, they plan to get to know their customers. Sometimes it is through questions on the phone or a check-in survey. Either way, they get to know why you are coming, a few personal details, and then decide how they will give you a great experience.

How much greater is the heart of God?

We are called to be His hands and feet, salt and light in the world. Let’s be intentional, take the time, plan, and decide to love people in tangible ways as Jesus did!

Erin Nonaka is a Co-Founder and the Director of Communications and Community and a Co-Founder at Humble Faith Ministries. She is an experienced worship leader, Bible teacher, and leadership trainer. Her heart yearns for women to be equipped and walk boldly for Jesus in every season of life. She currently lives in Florida with her husband and two of her three sons.

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Loved this! So good.

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