Friday, November 2, 2007

Let Us Build a House, Pt. 1

It took us a while to get started. I can admit, 7 am is terribly early for someone who isn’t expected to be anywhere until 10 am on a normal workday. Nevertheless, I arose to the mostly dark morning around 6:20, clambered about the quiet house being careful as to not wake my blissfully sleeping husband. I made it to the work site only about ten minutes late—not bad for a not-so-early riser—only to find that I was not the only one who didn’t make it on time.

This was our first morning to begin construction on the new home for our dedicated friend, T. She, along with a few others, trickled to the site within the next hour, and after a light breakfast of Nutri-Grain bars and Sunny Delights, our work was soon underway. The morning air was now filled with the sound of hammering and laughing and other sounds of the exciting construction crew, also known as the brothers and sisters of Court Street United Methodist. We were feeling fresh and excited and ready to build a house! With hammer in hand, I quickly discovered what little bit of strength I have in my forearms, but I made it work anyway. My swing was becoming swifter by the minute, and I was feeling more and more confident in myself. With everyone else working just as swiftly as myself (if not faster), we were pleased at how quickly things were progressing.

My favorite parts of the morning, though, were those when I took a break and just looked around me. On this small slab, in the middle of the muddy Mississippi (we were blessed with much rain and much mud last week), were a dozen or more people swinging hammers and telling jokes and lifting boards above their heads, all in the name of giving. You see, Habitat for Humanity prides themselves on a “hand-up” not a “hand-out,” offering families an opportunity to help build their house with their own hands, plus a little help from others. In our case, the body of believers at Court Street have been more than happy to chip in—serving meals, bringing water, and putting up walls. As I looked across the slab, I saw community happening at its best.

I am passionate about seeing the Church be in true community with one another, doing life together in all its beauty and messiness, its joys and struggles.

As the first wall went up, it was a truly unifying moment. Everyone grabbed a section of the stud-wall and lifted together, some with tears in eyes, all with smiles on their faces. Together, this is what we can do.

So let us build a house. And let us build the Church.

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