I motioned to my wife as to keep silent as my friend was still sharing his difficult circumstances at the moment. I took a scrap of paper from my make-shift desk and quickly scribbled, “Can I invite him to stay down here a couple of nights?” I never really imagined when I was a teenager that I would be inviting guys into my home for days; that seemed like a high school thing—spending the night at friend’s houses, escaping your own casa for as long as possible just for the change of scenery. This moment had a planned purpose, a need that needed to be met. I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what that need was, but I knew that to act was better than to not.
Jen gave me the affirmative “definitely” look and I moved forward with our conversation, inserting an initiation to help us move some of our things from our previous condo to our new house. He seized the opportunity and confirmed his arrival time a couple of hours later. I walked around the house, tidying up a bit and wondering how this would all work out. We had a mattress on the floor at least, which was just as good as a bed as far as I was concerned, and work that legitimately required two people and no little people (meaning someone had to stay with the kids). Several hours later a car recognized by the description given parked across the street with the window cracked just enough for the ashes of a cigarette to be flicked onto the cracked pavement. My selfish thoughts immediately took over: Oh yeah, he smokes. Will he smoke around my boys, I really don’t want them exposed. Well, this is ministry and my neighborhood smells like pot anyway so I better get used to it!
The next few days were full… moving furniture, bins, more bins, shelves, heavy things, buying dressers, shopping, cooking, eating, hanging out, moving more things… did I mention we moved a lot of stuff? In the midst of all the trips and moves back and forth we talked. Not just catch up talk from the gaps within our relationship but about life—real life. The struggles, the disappointments, the victories and the should haves. This is where my heart thrives, the moment that you realize your life, your words, your actions, your thoughts are impacting the lives, the words, the actions and the thoughts of those around you… and it all matters. It is way too easy for me to keep the schedule going, making sure that my hours are being met and my house doesn’t burn to the ground; then forget to stop and look around. We are humans, designed by God to interact with other humans. It is a need. And if you call yourself a God-chaser then you are a representative of the King. And I don’t think our King would leave a friend at the front door, regardless of his shortcomings because we are all a broken work of art.