This is eerie, I tell you. This is not the first "conversation" that I have had about the contents of the book I am reading with someone NOT reading, "Making Room" by Christine Pohl. It is a book I am reading in a discussion group with about 6 other ladies with varying viewpoints.
"Making Room" is hard to sum up. Ms. Pohl tells of the history of hospitality and it's Christian roots. She tells of how we got away from providing hospitality (in the most spiritual sense) as our communities and society became more industrialized and more private. It has totally made sense and has been really enlightening. Instead of commercial hotels and restaurants and even hospitals, the "hospitality" to which Ms. Pohl is encouraging is in creating relationships with strangers.
And, the tie in to your experience with the man outside the sandwich shop.
Ms. Pohl's insights provide understanding of the basic human need to connect with others. When people have been estranged from a community or society, their sense of shame deepens each time they fail to connect with someone (I am guessing that they would be afraid to even try after awhile). So, "making room" for strangers in our lives, in our hearts and in our homes creates a place in which people can feel capable, confident, and connected again.
I pray for opportunities to make a difference to others. And, I often feel that I miss things. So, then I pray that I acknowledge opportunities to help others. I need those connections, too.