- Social blessing
“…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:39
With no flooring but lots of sawdust around, it was hard to have guests over for a comfortable gathering, not to mention entertainment. We were blessed to have wonderful in-laws,. and friends, who were more like angels in our eyes, simply show up to offer helping hands. At some points, I felt like we were more like guests rather than the owners, as we received so much needed help. It was a special season for our 9-year married life to not be able to outreach through our home. We knew that season to build would not last very long. This realization helped me cherish the time to seek God’s definition of a Home as we were building our earthly home.
Growing up in China, I had no concept about what a Christian home would be like. However, entertaining guests was part of my life during childhood. It was warm and fun family time but without much deeper purposes. God graciously tailored this time for me to develop a mindset of practicing hospitality for His name, His people and lost souls. Even nowadays, the Lord uses those days as a reminder for me to entertain with joy and intentionality, especially when I feel stressed or self-conscious before we receive guests at our home
Also, the short-term lack of company fueled our passion to start having people over as soon as the flooring was done. It’s not about getting the house all ready to receive guests but just starting to invite people into our lives, our imperfect lives. We know our house is a gift from the Lord for His Kingdom and we couldn’t wait to share it. This common understanding helped us make decisions in choosing materials and home designs. We were able to dedicate our house to the Lord with our family and friends. It was nothing fancy but truly a sweet ceremony and celebration in our hearts. (Here is a link helpful when we were planning our home dedication.) We are hoping to rededicate our home yearly to the Lord as a family tradition.
On a side note, we did get to hang out with my in-laws, different fixing crews and meet neighbors. Since this house was sitting empty with long grass in the front for a while, neighbors were excited to see a family move in rather than someone who would flip it right after the fixing job was done. It was fun for my son to ask different workers questions in terms of waterproofing, sewage pipes, carpeting materials, caulking…. We were not sure how God would use all of the experience in shaping his mind for His use, but we surely had fun learning new stuff and getting to know people from different walks of life.
As human beings, we are all created to desire intimacy, to connect, to build relationships, extrovert or introvert. As we practice loving those under the same roof by the power of the Holy Spirit, His love overflows to whoever God has put in our life paths, in different seasons of our lives. Who is your neighbor? Who is my neighbor? Perhaps, in this guarded world, we can do ourselves a favor by saving ourselves from spending too much time figuring out who our neighbors are. Just start loving them as they show up in our lives, as the Spirit prompts us to reach out. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without receiving God’s love through His people, friends and even strangers (or maybe angels?:)). Let the miracle of God’s love do the rest. Let His love, rather than our own limited human care, start flowing. Who knows, an angel might be just around the corner waiting for us act upon God’s call, waiting to be used by God to bring Heavenly blessings!