Nancy and I are moving again. We’ve relocated over a dozen times during our marriage–for school, for new jobs, to be closer to our adult children. This time it’s only a short move: an apartment a few miles from our current townhouse. We’re not getting any younger, and it seemed prudent to move to a place we could fix up now and not have to maintain much.
In the past, I’ve done a great deal of the work on our homes myself. This time around, we’re depending on others to do most of the remodeling. Electricians are running the wires, carpenters are hanging the doors, and painters are stripping away 35-year-old orange, metallic wallpaper.
But this is the first time we’ve had a crew volunteer to come and paint the place in love. A month ago, our life group from church came on a Wednesday evening. Stepping over the construction debris, working until they needed flashlights, they spread out in the apartment and covered walls and floors with scripture and prayers. Then they sat on folding chairs in the dining room and prayed for the ministry that will take place in our new home.
The scriptures they wrote were not random, or randomly placed. Verses on the floors remind us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). The dining room walls remind us to show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2). Ezra 7:10 written in my office urges me to have diligence as I study the Bible and write. These messages will be covered by new flooring, paneling, and paint when the renovations are completed, but Nancy and I will continued to be blessed by them just knowing they’re there.
Before leaving, we inscribed each of the workers’ names on the walls and prayed that God would bless their families and protect them as they worked. The following day, one of the carpenters wrote a message next to the kitchen door, summing up everything: “Dios es Amor!” (God is Love!)
This is my prayer for the new place: that God’s love will abound. I pray that our home will be an embassy used by Christ. I pray that the Lord will equip our family to serve as winsome ambassadors for his Kingdom. I pray that it will be a place filled with God’s shalom.
To those of you who are reading this and will someday sit around the table with us, I hope that you will experience God’s love and grace. For those who follow our ministry, I ask that you pray that we are faithful to God’s calling in all that we say and do in our new home.