16 August 2014

A place to call home

The past few weeks, Michael and I have been in the process of looking for a place to call home. While we have had many places we've called "home", this one would be for keeps, for the first time. This morning, as I prayed and read a psalm, I was struck by a pointed longing and feeling of urgency that I have felt for a long time, but had never really understood. It usually has felt like a total lack of desire to clean, do the laundry, or do the dishes in my "home". At others' homes, I am happy to do all of these things! Why do I so often feel like I just shouldn't even bother in my own? You could certainly say, "You're tired. You want to do other, more interesting things. etc." Those statements might not be completely false! However, today I am struck by a realization that I have had hints of previously, but that has been made clearer than ever.
I'm waiting for my home. 
This statement is really two-fold. First and foremost, as a Christian I believe that this world doesn't hold my permanent home, and that I am rather a traveller on God's [sometimes lonely] path for me here. While here, I am called to love those around me despite their appearance, actions towards myself and others, and beliefs. This means that while I am heartbroken by the pain and suffering that is in the world, I pray for those on both sides of the wars that are raging. Not always with the same ardor as I might for someone on the "side" I prefer, but I do try to remember to do so, and to do so more and more often as the days pass. This does not mean that I condone the horrific, tragic things that many on the "opposite" side do to innocent people. But God does love us all despite our sin. Jesus paid the price for His murderers even as He asked God to forgive them in His final breath on the cross. Watching the news, I often turn away. But I try not to, because I see those that Jesus has already forgiven, and who desperately need His love more than any money, hostage, or weapon. Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do. Please, let us pray for our enemies and ask that our hate and the hate in the world be overcome ever more often by the love of God working through His sons and daughters throughout the world.

The second element of the statement that became clear to me this morning has to do with my home while I live in this world. The past two years, Michael and I have lived in three different places. All of those places have been rented. We've never painted walls and rarely put anything in the walls other than a few nails or push-pins. Investing in things like curtains and going to the trouble it takes to install them seems silly, given that at the time we move out, we'll have to restore everything to its original state.

We have dreamed of building a home, but have come to realize that this is not the season of our lives when that is going to happen. We have found a house that we love (despite our realtor's attempts to discourage us from falling in love with it) and are praying for all to work out that we may begin to paint, to put up paintings, and to install curtain rods. Yesterday, I purchased a beautifully imperfect medicine cabinet from an antique shop, and I am dreaming of how it will look once I have coaxed a new life into it. All of this to say, we want to be able to make something ours in such a way that we can create a place where friends, family, and new acquaintances want to spend time. Last night, we had dinner with some phenomenal friends whose home I love for this very reason: like them, it is welcoming and warm, and urges you to come in and unpack your joys, your sorrows, and your doubts. A place where God speaks and works. I believe that these types of places can be actively fostered and cultivated into life by us, but that this is a process of finding who we truly are through the expression of our personality throughout our home. God can show up anywhere, despite our tireless efforts to hit the perfect visual balance in a room. But I think that He loves to show up where we are comfortable enough to let those we love and those that we perhaps don't love yet (or maybe never will) in so that He can reach them. And I might even enjoy sweeping the floor, knowing it is a floor that God has given me to foster and build community and fellowship on.

Your prayers for the process that Michael and I are in are much appreciated. We have learned a lot about ourselves and each other during the past few weeks, and have also been blessed by a realtor and mortgage broker who have been extremely gracious and giving of their time and encouragement. Our families have also been relentless in their advice, encouragement, and financial support and contribution. I feel extremely "held" by them and God at this moment, and I know that what is meant to be, will be.

1 comment:

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