He sits at my kitchen table, drinking a glass of sweet tea, and rambling on. There are a million things I need to be doing. The dishes are piled in the sink, we just finished our school day and all I really want to do is get my house in order again, but he's here again, 3rd time this week. My first response is FRUSTRATION. I do not have time for this. My next thought, not my own, a whisper from my heart... where the Spirit dwells... He says "I sent him here." So, for God's sake and not my own I listen, as he tells me who the Ranger's picked up, about his job, and a million other things his lonely heart wants to tell me. At one point he asks our plans for Christmas day and I tell him, it will be a busy day, a full house. With a far away look in his eyes, he gazes at our tree and says "I remember when Christmas was big deal at my house, but it's quiet now." He came because there is life here.
A few minutes later, he asks the boys if they want to play catch. He's more comfortable with them than he is with us adults. He tells jokes and laughs with them. When I look at my children as a job, he sees a blessing. He told my husband one day, "I come here, because there's life here". He's talking about them, my children, they are the life that he's talking about. What he doesn't know is he's talking about Christ, who came to give us abundant life... It's because of obedience to God that this house is overflowing with life.
I remember when Bobby and I moved into our first house... we prayed and blessed our house, our specific prayer is that it would be a refuge for anyone that God should choose to send. I didn't know then what I know now... With blessing comes great responsibility. I didn't know God would be answering our prayer in ways that didn't always make me happy. I didn't know that I would even be in opposition to the way God answered my prayers, but I do know that he has used the answer to humble me over and over again. He has shown me that I don't really have the heart of Christ for the lost and the lonely.
She sat across from me at the table... She comes off and on. She's a favorite with my children and I don't often get a chance to spend time with her when she's here, she doesn't come for me. She comes because there's life here. As we sat talking last night, she gazed at the tree and said "yeah we haven't had a tree in years." I didn't know that... she is a part of our Christmas decorating every year and I know that she loves it, but I didn't realize, she comes here because there's nothing at her house.
While I'm busy worrying about laundry, dishes, school work and things that really don't matter, God is sending people here to this refuge, because there's life here. The Bible says "That children are a blessing from the Lord." I confess that I don't feel this way a lot, but it's because my priorities are backwards. As husband and wife we have said to God "we will accept the blessings that you send"... I had no idea that the blessings were the answer to bringing the lost and lonely to our house. There's life here.
Children are a blessing. They don't take life so seriously. My little people laugh a lot and do crazy things that make me roll my eyes all the time. Children accept people the way they are. They love unconditionally. They look past imperfections. They make time for people. The people that God sends to my door don't come here to see me... they come because there is life here and there is life here, because Christ is here.
Everything I do for Christmas I do for my children. The candles, the baking, the tree, the decorations, it's all for them. I want them to have memories of beautiful Christmas celebrations... it's all for my children and the lonely are drawn here to be reminded of what Christmas used to be for them. They come because there is life here.
The greatest work of God, the most miraculous thing that God ever did happened 2000 years ago when God sent his son, as a baby in a manger.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isa 9:6
In the stable, lying in a manger, one night in Bethlehem, a child was born, a blessing that would bless the whole world. A child brought life here.