Today I've been thinking about our home; the physical house where Rebekah and I live.
This is the context. I'm sitting here at the counter, working at the laptop and sipping coffee while enjoying the view of our lush back garden. There's a serenity here that's a kind of cumulative consequence of the past thirteen years.
One of my friends left a few minutes ago, having stopped by for coffee and a chat. His household is full with young children, challenging family dynamics, and the kind of layered chaos that it's difficult to see the end of when you're young and seemingly permanently off balance.
We had a good visit, and I feel confident that some of the peace I'm enjoying now found it's way into my friend's spirit - I hope so. So now I'm thinking about the importance of calm, quiet, restorative space - for everyone. Rebekah and I need the atmosphere this home provides - Lord knows we're involved in enough high-density work - but I'm also thinking about how we can share this with others.
I'm not thinking about our home as a retreat center so much as a place where the spirit of God is resident as an expected and recognizable feature.
How does that work? But I don't think the question is so much, "Does God in habit physical space?" so much as it is, "What is the cumulative spiritual witness of this home?"
I'm thinking that our Jesus is sometimes too instant, freeze-dried, or pre-packaged - we want him at the drop of a hat, a kind of spiritual zero-sixty in five seconds. But - this afternoon - the spiritual bones of our home seem to be stretching with a long-term maturity, and they're chock full of all 13 years we've been here. Those 13 years have included hope, love, prayer, tears, disappointment, triumph, overwhelm, rebellion, restoration, pain, commitment, joy... you name it. But the most enduring quality has been faithfulness. God's faithfulness, most consistently, but certainly ours too.
So this feeling I have, writing in this quiet space, is 13 years in the making. Actually, it's 30 years in terms of the commitment Rebekah and I have shared to make a faithful home.
I want this to be a place of grace for all who enter. For coffee, dinner, parties, meetings, or simply a moment of prayer.
My heart - God's home; Our home - God's grace.