When I was a boy, I had a home; that home still guides my life. The house was simple and old; a good, solid, clean space. It had a wood furnace and a few bedrooms. It housed 8: Dad, Mom, 4 girls and 2 boys. I was the baby. The house was small enough to be cozy, but big enough for all of us.It didn’t end there. Together and in that space, we made a home. A place where we practiced loving and being loved. Where we learned about structure and security, experienced grace and forgiveness, fought and made up.
Over the years, the very walls filled up with the affection and life that makes home. Anchored by our parents, it was a place to return to even after moving on to other challenges.In that space, my parents loved each other and Jesus and us kids. They gave us comfort and faith, were caring and firm, created a space both physical and emotional for us to be.As a child, I took home for granted; now I understand how it gave stability to me. I was rooted in Jesus with a place to belong. I had people to love and be loved by; this is the very foundation of the life I have lived since then. In my mind’s eye I see it still, my family, the rooms, the memories; not perfect, but amazingly good and I am thankful.Increasingly, both Diane and I find ourselves wanting to pluck someone from their East Colfax chaos and place them in a home. A sanctuary, where they can receive and give, a place to love and be loved through good and bad.I am thinking of those here who are genuinely the most broken.
We see positive and inspiring examples of home, even in motel rooms. But there are others whose challenges are so large and ability to change so small that it is heartrending to watch. For the most part, they did not grow up in a healthy home; lacking home, it is a short step to the streets, to prostitution, drugs and despair.
Watching, we ask this question: When your life is a wreck, how do you ever change? How do things become different and better?People need Jesus and the love and acceptance and healing that comes from Him. It starts there. It may sound heretical, but the most broken need more than just Jesus; they need a home. Our friend Kristin is 8 months pregnant, still turning tricks to get a room and pay for crack. As we get closer to her, it seems she has no-one in her life that really cares about her; mostly, she has clients and competitors. She is narcissistic and demanding, yet charming. She asked Diane if we would take her baby and care for him until she gets her life together enough to raise him herself. To have a chance, she needs a home.Lindsey is 3 months pregnant and also lives street life. We know her enough to be amazed she is alive. Eager to get off the streets, away from a destructive life-style, she wants to keep and raise this child, having already given up 4 children. She has almost no-one in her life to love and help her. She told Diane she wants to be in some kind of house setting with other people, a place of mutual support and give-and-take. She is hungry for a home.
For them and others, we imagine them in a safe, secure home, surrounded by people who love them, a place to blossom into who Jesus created them to be. Not easy, but in a home we feel like they would have a chance.We are prayerfully asking some questions. What families or at least family-type settings are there that would welcome ones like these? What is the role of the broader body of Jesus in creating home for these most broken? What is our role? How does it work? Is it even possible? We don’t (yet) know the answers to the questions, but we do know this: They need a home. Pray…for a home for those who most need it. Pray…for those who can help provide one. Pray…for us as we discern Jesus’ leading on this issue. Pray…with thanksgiving for those of us who have been blessed with a home.