In 2013 Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and his wife found themselves suffering from the devastation of war in Iraq. People from the village of Rutba helped them out, even though they were technically the enemy. The generous hospitality of those Iraqi people as well as a conviction from the teachings of Jesus lead the Wilson-Hartgroves to found Rutba House in Durham, North Carolina, as a place where all would be welcomed. Following St. Benedict’s instructions to “welcome the stranger at the door as Jesus,” Rutba House became of community of transformation.

In Strangers at My Door: A True Story of Finding Jesus in Unexpected Guests, Wilson-Hartgrove shares the struggles and successes of living out that principle. His stories are moving and inspiring. He shares of the transformation in his life and the community around him because of their desire to welcome all as if that person were Jesus. Indeed, Wilson-Hartgrove shares the glimpses of Jesus he found in doing so.

The book is very compelling. My wish would be that it shared more of the logistics of living in such a manner–how the budget happens, or how their children were raised in such a home for instance. But the book is not a how-to of living in community; rather it is a collection of stories of trying to live it out.

In exchange for an unbiased review, the publishers of this book have provided me with a free copy of it.