It’s Writing Wednesday… and I am sitting in the café with peaceful music playing amidst the sound of jackhammers in the basement below. It resembles the way Mike and I are feeling today. Cre8Home is a place that those in need are finding. It’s been a week of listening, praying, of kids playing… And there is a wave of peace that overrides a person’s temporary pains, even while the foundation of their very home/family is under the jackhammer.
Every few days, we ask God, “Are we doing what You have asked of us?” Mike and I spent time together this morning in prayer over the very foundation of this thing called the Church (yes, to the soundtrack of jackhammers). There are days when what we are doing feels quite foreign to those around us, even in our Christian or church circles. The foundation of our Church (big C/identity Church) throughout the world was laid by men and women who followed Christ and his upside-down way of active Love in a world that was (and still is) seeking right and wrong over Life, political prowess and position over servitude and servanthood, and fame and fortune over sacrifice.
Spring always marks the season of conferencing. There are music conferences, denominational conferences, leadership conferences, youth ministry, children’s ministry, and homeschool conferences (and these are all things that Mike and I have both been a part of over the years). We can learn to DO a lot from others, we can talk about strategies, we can debate, and we can even make it all very shiny.
Well, what we are embracing today is not shiny. In fact, it is very personal, and frankly a little scary. (Again, I am writing while jackhammers are getting to an underground sewer pipe—NOT shiny stuff here!) Families are falling apart, and statistics inside the church are not any different from those outside of it… we are meeting families whose foundations have already turned to rubble under the jackhammer, and others who are trying to stop the pounding, clean the waste, and rebuild.
I’ve said it before: It’s actually hard to write about WHAT it is that we are “doing” because talking about it seems to go against the very Words that call for this kind of living.
So please, may I just ask you a few questions?
What are we doing? Really doing (not like pinning things we hope to do)?
What if you and I knew all of our neighbors by name (how many can you name right now)?
What if we went for even just one week without reading some other person’s interpretation of the Word, but went straight to the Word for guidance (and self-examination like looking in a mirror)?
What if we spent time all week ministering to the needs of others? How might that look?
What if the Church is struggling because the Home is struggling? What could you do within the walls of YOUR Home this week to meet need?
Would you accept Christ’s call to Love, even if no one noticed (or ever knew about it)? Even if you would not become famous? Even if in this world, it appeared as loss and not gain?
I have put pictures on my facebook page this week of the goslings that hatched in front of Cre8Home. In my last post, I mentioned the hard time that the goose and gander had adjusting to our close proximity to their nest, and to all of the other humans in their space. Well, ironically, there are some striking truths revealed in their story.
The pond extends over four acres, and there are other mating geese on outer edges—we have seen six couples. Walking around the shores, we’ve noticed two other nests with eggs that never made it; there may be more. Owls, coyotes, heron, even other geese got to those eggs, and the mamas ended up abandoning their nests.
The nest in front of Cre8Home had ONE BIG DIFFERENCE: the gander DID NOT LEAVE the scene!
We have been fascinated watching the protective behaviors of this big daddy! He would sound with loud honking and hissing that he was in-coming, and take over patrol to allow the mama time to graze. He would even walk beside her, and they took a team approach throughout the incubation month.
Since the goslings have hatched, they’ve stayed together by the babies. They keep the goslings between them, and as they graze, the mama and the babies will eat the grass right under the gander’s body as he stands watch. Twenty-four hours a day, that one gander has kept watch over his family.
The OTHER NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE: this couple – whose nest was actually out in the wide open… this couple – able to adjust to this “new community” with the humans, allowing us to stand close by…
THEIR FAMILY SURVIVED. Those that kept themselves “hidden in dark places” did not protect their babies. Their homes were invaded.
Maybe it’s time to keep watch. Maybe we need not abandon the nest, but look in the light at the devastation and see what Love can do. Maybe we need to get in the dark basement, grab hold of the jackhammers and rebuild a solid foundation.
It begins in the Home.
It remains in the Light.
It is protected in wide open Community.
You won’t get famous for it. People will wonder if what you are doing is even real ministry… but those who are changed by Love will never be able to imagine what would have been had they not found it.
Last night we offered dinner and peace to a mom and her girls who did not have a protective, faithful father looking over their nest. They need community. They need those who walk (and welcome) in Light. And there are many families just like theirs that we will love.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But
if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with
one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all
sin.” ~1 John 1:7
(Before those words: “this is written that your joy may be full”… indeed. It may not be shiny, like on a stage shiny. But it certainly IS shine-y, in the most “let your light so shine,” “A light has dawned,” “a light on my path,” and in the “light of your face shine on us,” kind of way. And we vowed to put funds and energy into the people-lights, not stage lights. “A city on a hill…”—again, homes.)
Perhaps you, like we, know the verses, and can quote many about loving others and walking in light together. Unfortunately, most of our systems
keep such love in the talking and learning realm and not in/between the real life people and the situations that need rescue.
People ask us, “What about your privacy?” Well, could it be that we are meant to leave private places and segregated spaces… and learn to really BE?
Together. In Living. Maybe that is where active Love becomes heroic. And no one should expect to be put on grand display. Anyone who knows any real superheroes knows that! The Lord does, however, enjoy displaying His Light through your sacrificial living.
…So we’ll just leave the Light on (and hope that the jackhammers will stop soon).