By Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Convergent, $14.99, 224 pages
When Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and his wife Leah moved to Durham, North Carolina, they hung a sign by their front door welcoming anyone – friends and strangers alike – to knock and enter. The Wilson-Hartgroves didn’t know what to expect in the invitation, only that they were led to follow Christ’s invitation to feed and house the poor. As the word spread and people came, sometimes for a meal and sometimes for a more permanent home, Wilson-Hartgrove realized the trust required to open himself to God’s greater purposes. And he recognized the essence of his own faith: “I go to the door because I don’t know who I am without this community of the down-and-out who have trusted me when they had every reason not to. I go to see who’s there because the Jesus I want to know is the Jesus who comes knocking at midnight, bringing his tired and homeless friends with him,” Wilson-Hartgrove writes in Strangers at My Door: An Experiment in Radical Hospitality. Wilson-Hartgrove writes Strangers at My Door in a series of stories about himself, his wife, and the many characters who arrive and ultimately have a profound effect on their lives.
“[F]or all of my own shortcomings, for all of our doubts and disappointments — I’ve leaned into the darkness, my face pressed against the screen, and I’ve seen the Jesus who’s there — the Jesus who invites us to becomes a new kind of human community here and now.”
An excellent reminder of all that Christ calls us to offer in order to receive the fullness of his peace and joy, Strangers at My Door is a must-read for those interested in a glimpse into a life fully given over to God.
Reviewed by Jennie A. Harrop