(#8 & #7 in a series of people who
changed the course of my life)
The ability to exude the spiritual gift of hospitality is perhaps one of the most endearing things about Mark Goodheart and Raul Velez.
Often, hospitality is viewed as something extended from one’s home. But rarer is the kind of hospitality that says:
“You are welcome into our life.
Let me extend friendship to you.
Let me encourage you.
Here, come and rest.
Let me share not just my bounty but also my struggles, my life, my pain so that we may be able to be stronger.
Let me show you unconditional love.
(And ok, here come swim in our pool, too!)”
This solid-as-a-rock couple has shown to me (and countless others) this exact kind of hospitality. True, they are gracious hosts; who doesn’t love coming into their home and enjoying a meal, a conversation, or a dip in their pool. Yet—with zero fanfare—they exhibit this same kind of hospitality with respect to relationship.
You know where they stand. You know they are men of faith, passion, and conviction. You know they love each other. And you know, without a doubt, they love you.
Even if you like to wear shorts and bow ties:
And you know all of this because they have opened up who they are—their hearts, their intellect, their struggles, their sense of humor—and shown you.
I have been so personally influenced by these two: hearing the heartaches they have endured and the joys they have celebrated, witnessing the way they stand by one another. They have been so generous with their time and their encouragement of my work and passions.
It is people like Mark and Raul who have inspired me to do what I’m doing, teaching me so much along the way and pushing me forward toward the calling to which my heart compels me.
Power couple, indeed. Powerful in hospitality, friendship, and love. What a marvelous example to our community and the world.
(Now, if I could only get Raul to start a blog.)
9. the rejoicer