One of my favorite early monks in the church was a man known by the name "John the Dwarf" (sounds like he's right out of Lord of the Rings). We often think of monastics as solitary and reclusive figures, but they are quite the opposite. They have much to teach us about radical hospitality and love of neighbor. Rowan Williams talks about John below:
John the Dwarf: “You don’t build a house by starting with the roof and working down. You start with the foundation.” They said, “What does that mean?” He said, “The foundation is our neighbor whom we must win. The neighbor is where we start. Every commandment of Christ depends on this.” Everything begins with this vision and hope: to put the neighbor in touch with God in Christ.
Williams, Rowan. Where God Happens: Discovering Christ in One Another (pp. 14-15). New Seeds. Kindle Edition.
About the Author
Isaac Gaff is the Managing Director of Worship and Creative Arts at Calvary UMC