We've discovered that one bathroom can go a long way, that dishes need to be washed often, and things will undoubtedly be dirtier with three chlidren, all under the age of six. We've discovered that life is complicated, honesty is valuble, and that answers lead to more questions. Most importantly, we've discovered that it is absolutely necessary to be the very presence of Jesus to our neighbors and friends, wherever we are. We love, serve, and follow a Living God, not a faraway god who pays no attention to us. Yet many will never know he is Living because we have not embodied Him.
And the questions are where we are now. Never before have welcomed this many people at one time into our home, particularly in "crisis" mode. But without these new questions, we wouldn't be pushed to seek answers, resolutions, or at least a less destructive path for the next time (not that this path has been destructive; it has bestowed much peace on our new friends).
How much space do you really need? Where can we go for rest and quiet? What time should "quiet hours" begin in the house? What spaces are private and what spaces are communal? Should everyone be held to a general standard of cleanliness, even in their own sleeping spaces?
This is just a short list of questions, ones that, no matter how petty they seem are nonetheless important to the life of our house, one where hospitality is central, humanity is honored, and rest is a necessity, lest our flames die out before they've even scorched the wick.
Pray for us; indeed, we need you to speak into us!
Finally, an encouragement, a "what it takes" for the weeks ahead:
The holiness we need [a "spirituality fit for the margins"] is
simultaneously strong and tender. It is a holiness of heart that can
experience genuine horror at evil, but also see human beings
for what God intended them to be.
It is a holiness that trusts God for redemption
and therefore can sustain hope.
(p. 125, "Friendship at the Margins,"
by Christine D. Pohl and Chris Heuertz)