A lot has happened since my first week of this blogging adventure. I was quite proud of meeting my “three posts per week” goal with gusto and timeliness, capping off my third post by Thursday evening of last week. Now here I am on the following Tuesday (nearly Wednesday morning) and I am just now beginning my first for the week. That’s okay though. Life happens as it will, and for each of you joining me on this adventure I can guarantee that the goal will be met with equal gusto as my “gusto meter” restocks itself.
Now to what I would like to share about briefly (it is after all nearly midnight and there is still much to do before I go to bed). I am captured by a phrase from Scripture at the moment. It is found in John 14:2, and as I learned it in KJV it says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” This is a phrase that was requested by a family member for her beloved’s funeral service, and it has been echoing in my mind since. There is no shyness in sharing from my pastoral viewpoint that walking alongside families in their saddest times is both saddening and an honor for me. My heart aches as I try to empathize and love while at the same time feeling privileged to share with the family in these trying moments. I’ve heard this phrase before, so why is it standing out at the moment?
In other versions (NIV in this case), this house imagery gets translated to be, “My Father’s house has many rooms.” Jesus is sharing about God’s many-roomed house that is being prepared and nearly ready. Now obviously God is bigger and richer than I, so it is only natural to expect that He has bigger digs than anything earthly. But that is beside the point. Having many rooms or a huge house does not seem to be what grabs me in an UNcommon way. Instead, I am thinking of fond memories that involve gathering at a loved one’s home where tons of family members and friends are forming a significant fire hazard worthy of the Fire Marshal’s harsh critique. This does not require a large house or plenty of room(s) for everyone to be together. There just needs to be “enough room” for everyone to feel at home together.
As a young child, I remember having to make “pallets” to sleep on in my Memaw & Papa’s living room in Dodge City. I faintly remember how myself and my cousins would transform our couch cushion/bed sheet/pillow pallets into an incredible tent – or series of tents – that was uniquely lit at evening by the glow from Papa’s two fish tanks that also offered a loud enough hum to shield our giggles from being heard by our parents as we created this masterpiece of architectural integrity. I may be wrong on the math, but for the eight male cousins there were technically not enough rooms for us all to sleep in as we enjoyed these holiday sleepovers. Yet, there seemed to be just enough room for us to create memories (and tents) that still make me smile with the same childlike joy I felt in those moments. It wasn’t about a big enough house or plenty of room(s) to accommodate our growing family; it was about the simple fact that we had enough room to feel at home.
As a father and husband, I want to create a home where my wife and children feel at home and those who cross our threshold will also feel that there is enough room for them to also feel at home. I do not need a big house with sufficient square footage to make this happen. I do not require a mansion or many rooms. Instead, I need the heart of God so that I may look at others and say, “Hey, I have enough room for you.”