Wendy Kessler
About the Author

Wendy's greatest joy is gathering people around her table to share life by sharing meals. She also works as the Bereavement Coordinator at Sonata Hospice and writes and speaks on hospitality, community, and faith. She is married to her college sweetheart and is the proud mom of three sons.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. How fitting that this devotion would show up today when my dear friend just lost her father yesterday and in her words “My father has gone on to glory.” May my extending hospitality at such a time of this no matter what it may be ease a little bit of her pain. Thank you for sharing.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s loss. Thank you for sharing your response to the way hospitality ministers to grief.

  2. Wendy,

    Our culture values fixing problems. We, especially women, want to fix things & make it right. You are so spot on about hospice. My mom had hospice care for about 1 year. Some workers would come weekly & bath/shampoo her hair. It was”beauty” time to make her feel good. The whole team was a blessing. They helped dad get a respite from his 24/7 care. The best part of their caring came when mom died in the middle of night. They all came & stayed with dad till one of us could get there. One worker had her husband go get a breakfast biscuit for dad so he would eat. They looked at wedding pictures & were there easing the pain of loss. They didn’t fix anything, just comforted an elderly man at a time much needed. I am forever grateful for that. Hospice workers have a hard hard job that is often misunderstood. They also have a heart of gold for their patients. That is exactly what God wants us to do. Help carry each other’s burdens. Just be present in the minute to soothe the pain.

    Blessings 🙂

  3. Like Paulette, I’m reading this post on the heels (and in the midst) of a season of multiple funerals and lots of friends making end of life decisions. The compassionate care given by hospice workers is a gift in the midst of all the success/fail mindset prevalent in healthcare and in our culture at large. It’s wonderful that God led you to put your gifts at his disposal in this particular was after a career in serving your family.

  4. I believe we as people when we know someone is dying and not going to get better. Even is a career and looking after that person that only has days or hours left to live. We too have feelings and we have be there for the family. As especially more so if the family not saved or the person not saved they still in there heart believe they will see their love one who is very ill dying of sometime that even medicines can’t or Doctor’s or all the treatment make better still believe depending on what they believe they will see them in Heaven one day with Jesus. But that sad. If you are saved you the carer in the Hospice centre if you work there and caring for that ill patience and with their family it would be nice. But can be hard as when not saved. They don’t want to talk about Jesus and prayer. What you the saved carer believe. All they are wound up in is spending the last of their time with their family member that is dying. Not listing to you. But if you get a chance to pray with the sick family member and tell the family members about Jesus. You never know that sick person who could be so scared of dying could give their life to Jesus. So could the family. Because they love that family member so much they want to see them again when their time up on earth. If you pray you the carer to God ask to give you an opening God will if the timing right. God can work in a way we would never think. Then that person that is sick and dying will not be scared of dying. They will know they are going to see Jesus. The family know they might not see them again on earth when they pass peacefully. But they because they have also got saved because of you the carer. They will see them again in Heaven one day when their time also up on earth. What a great day that will be for the family. You will know you have done a great job caring for the family’s loved one and if was God will leading their loved one and them to know Jesus as their Saviour as well. If the people are saved that are ill and their family saved they have not lost all. Yes on earth they not have got their sick one when God take them out of their pain and sickness home to be with him and giving them a brand new body in Heaven. Their Family’s will yes miss them on earth. But they will see them again when their time up in Heaven with a brand new body. What a day that will be as they will be together again. Another good reading. Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

  5. Tonight I am many miles away from a dear friend who is being visited this very minute for her admission into hospice care. I used to be a hospice nurse and feel as though I did my life’s best work helping my patients transition in as meaningful and comfortable manner as possible. I treasure the visions in my head of the patients and families I was so privileged to serve. I left hospice because of the rigors the industry put on the nurses but my heart has never been so full as when I was helping to facilitate a good death. What a sacred privilege. Thank you for sharing your story. God used it to bless me tonight.

  6. Wendy, this is just beautiful. What a rich and meaningful life of hospitality you’ve lived and are living. It’s a joy to host your words here at (in)courage.

  7. This is so beautifully written, this is something I will save and reread again. Thank you for your ministry, and encouraging me in mine!

  8. Isn’t it amazing how God prepares us in advance for what we are going to do. And how beautiful for you to see that cooking a meal for 20 somethings and walking with families towards death are both using your same gift. You are a dear soul, willing to be just where God has placed you in the moment. Thanks for writing.

  9. Thank you for the article which was emailed to me by my daughter an ocean away. The timing is just right, as we have had several funerals of late and want to comfort the bereaved. Also, my services as a palliative care provider were just requested a couple of days ago. I pray I will be faithful, and effective with God’s help and the valuable article you wrote. God bless you.