Have you heard the old saying, “If walls could talk”? If you listen closely and pay enough attention, I think they do! OK, yes, I do have a pretty vivid imagination, I know. Most would look at me and say, “Yeah, right…” as they’re clutching their cell phone prepared to call 911 for when I totally lose it. My first experience in how I know this was an observation that I made with my own kids. I can remember when they were in high school. I could pretty much gauge how their lives were going by opening the door to their rooms. If they were total chaos, I knew I needed to step up the prayers for them. If it looked like they had tried to put things away a little and you could see a piece of carpet on the floor, I was hopeful that life was getting back to normal for them.
When we sold our home and were looking for a new one, it was important for me to have a home that welcomed people. I love to entertain and so we looked for a home with entertainment space. It’s kind of a fancy house in structure, but when I am done with it, I hope to emit warmth and peace within the walls–approachability so to speak. Have you ever been to someone’s home where they watched every move you made and you were suddenly aware that if you touched something, you might get your hands smacked? Did you feel welcome? I doubt it. I go into homes often where people are losing their home to foreclosure and immediately their home shouts at me, “depression…out of control…brokenness.” When visiting a chronically ill patient and their family often the home will scream, “I’m so tired, where do we go from here, does anything matter anymore?” I remember when I was a single mom and had been ill for some time. My house was definitely out of control. My friends listened to my house and realized I was in crisis mode. This chaos was not normal for me and they knew it. They scheduled a time and came in to help me put it back together knowing this would help my emotional state to see it clean again as I was recovering from my illness. It was a daunting task for even them working together. All of these homes tell the story even when pride may not have allowed the words to be expressed. Now that we’re settling into our new home and we are putting our mark on it, I hope that it will someday say to others, “This is a safe place, it’s OK let’s talk about it, let’s get our friends together and have some fun!”
I believe that there is a strong relationship between what is going on in our physical world as it relates to our emotional and spiritual side. When one component of our being is struggling, they all struggle. As Christians, we need to be aware that when one part of our being is under attack, we need to guard against it pulling our entire house down so to speak. I don’t mean in a physical pulling down of your house; rather, a spiritual or emotional pulling down of your being. Maybe you can relate to a time when you were emotionally and spiritually down and your home showed it. To me, it is a lift in my spirit to simply get a few things in order in my home. It seems to pick me up emotionally and even spiritually to organize my little piece of the world for some reason. Have you visited a friend lately whose house is out of control? Perhaps you’ve known them for years and this is just their normal way of housekeeping. However, if you’re noticing other changes, look deeper. What is their home saying to you? Do you need to roll your sleeves up and lend a hand? Is something dramatically different that tells you they need to talk? Perhaps their home is saying, “Pray for this family.”
If you take this all literally, you may come visit me today and think wow, she really needs prayer! My home is basically a construction zone everywhere you look. But that’s not where I’m going with this. The whole point of this today is to say, “Look around. I know you hear what their words are saying, but have you taken the time to listen to what their world is trying to tell you?” We live in a busy, chaotic time in today’s world. Often we wouldn’t even know if our friends’ homes were different because we haven’t taken the time to visit with them to begin with. If that’s the case, now is the time to invite a friend over for coffee or even dinner. We need to stop living in a superficial world of Christianity. It’s time we get involved in each others’ lives so that we will be able to recognize a friend in need or a life in crisis.
I am so excited about our new home for a number of reasons. One reason is for the story behind it. It was once owned by a local politician who is now facing a jail term for some bad decisions he made during his time in office. The home sat empty for more than two years and the neighborhood has been abuzz about all of the drama surrounding this home for years. For this reason, all of the neighbors are curious about what is inside. You would have thought it was the president that lived here or something! They’ve heard the stories of how they trashed the house and took most of the fixtures, knobs, and even the kitchen island and countertops! Since our move, we are making it a point to use this home for God. Every time a neighbor comes to talk to me or walks by, I invite them in. I know they want to see what’s going on in here. I don’t care if it is still a construction zone. I have relaxed in my fifty years of life and I know that by allowing people to see my home in this way, I am approachable. I’m just a normal person living within these walls with horrifically ugly wallpaper! Seriously though, there is something intimate about having someone in your home. By taking a tour or coming in for tea, they feel like they’re getting to know me better. They see my surroundings and what makes me happy. There is so much greater of a connection that happens inside these walls than anything that goes on in small talk out front. I love the fact my home has drama surrounding it prior to me moving in. It is the catalyst for us to get to know the neighbors and see what God’s plan for us here might be. Construction zone or not, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)
What does your house say about you? When was the last time a friend came to visit? Do you have a friend that needs your help with their situation? Take the time to look around and listen to what God is telling you through your surroundings. Don’t be so busy you pass by a friend without recognizing their pain or suffering. Seriously, don’t be afraid…invite someone in. You’ll be glad you did! Most importantly, go make a difference in your world! Have a great week!
Luke 10:38 (NKJV) Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
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