Today I’ve decided to brag on my wife a bit, and offer what I think is a good feature to include in the design of any home. It’s not the fireplace, the “Butlers Pantry”, the laundry chute (which is awesome, by the way), or a jacuzzi tub (ha….riiiight). I’m not even talking about the floorplan or “features” list of your house. I’m talking about the plan you have for the kind of home your family will shape and be shaped by.
I’ll admit, my wife thinks about this a lot more naturally than I do. I’ve read books, frequent blogs, and have even gone to hear a speaker or two on the topic. But she does all this and then some. Seems to have it naturally flowing through her veins, and I’m continually thankful for the ways that shapes our home.
Over a week ago, she received a phone call from someone connected to our church that helps organize ministries to the Chinese residents living in our community. It was brief, explaining that she wanted to host a small gathering of students tomorrow night from the local college to have worship and testimony led by a traveling group of Chinese from Stanford University. Let me attach a side note here: she received this call while home-schooling our 3 children and watching a friends 2-year old. Her response? After texting me to make sure I didn’t have any plans for that evening, she said sure, we’d love to host.
Fast forward to the next night.
We sat toward the back of a make-shift sanctuary located in our very own living room. There were four rows of metal folding chairs, and a projected image above our childrens’ toys and books. About 30 of us, all full of great food, and friendly conversation, even if much of it needed to be translated for a few of us. A piano that I’ve neglected to get tuned for my wife for years now, converted into a source of melody to Chinese hymns we’d never heard before, but hummed along with as possible. Between songs, the leader would smile, and talk in English about what we’d just sung, and we closed by singing simultaneously in any language, “Amazing Grace”.
Next, came the testimonies of a couple of the student-leaders from Stanford. They were refreshingly honest and matter-of-fact in their story-telling, the kind of testimonies we American adults have learned to soften or blur. One young couple being so thankful for God’s work at the foundation of their relationship would’ve been a great video for any pre-marital course. Finally we joined in prayer and some closing fellowship together. Mounds of leftover food, and the feeling that we’d experienced something precious in worship that night – reminded me of how blessed a home can be, when it has interruptible space.