When we move into a house, duplex, fourplex, apartment, camper, RV we begin setting up our things. Making it ours. Our style of furniture, our pictures, our colors. The things that make the new living space a home. A place that reflects us. A place we belong.
Then when it is time and there is a change we pack everything up again. We take the things off the walls, take apart the furniture. Everything goes back into boxes and the home that we created becomes what it was when we moved in. A house, a duplex, an apartment, RV, camper. Walls and doors, cupboards and closets.
My husband and I have moved 11 times in our almost 13 years of marriage. I remember the first house we called our home. It was in Uzgohrod, Ukraine and after days of travel and no sleep we arrived. I was determined to unpack instantly, making the space ours.
In Western culture we often define worth based on what a person owns, where a person lives, how a person looks. Even if we don’t admit it these are the criteria that naw at us. We have a favorite book in our house You are Special by Max Lucado. It is about a village of wooden people who spend all their time giving out star stickers for those who look and act right and dot stickers to those who fall short. Every time I read it I am struck by the weight of the truth of it. This is how we live our lives, looking at the outward appearance and handing out invisible stickers.
In the book the wooden person who is the main character, Puchinello, is always getting dots. Finally after meeting someone who didn’t have any stickers he went to visit the Woodworker, Eli and in meeting him he learned that he is special because of what Eli, his maker, thought and that it didn’t matter what the others said. The book ends with a dot sticker falling off a he leaves the Woodwooker’s shop. This is how I want to live my life, with the expectations of a world of people with invisible stickers not having any affect on me.
When I read the account of Abraham in Genesis 12 and I read of him packing up his household, not once but likely multiple times as they traveled in a nomadic way I can’t help but think of his wife, Sarah.
Oh women like their homes, don’t they. I like pretty things and spaces where everything looks and feels just right. Sarah moved with her husband also following God’s call to get up and go.
She had to come to a place of realization, as I hope each of us will consider as well, that a home really has very little to do with the four walls that we find ourself surrounded by. A home is the people that are within the walls. A home is characterized by the purpose that it has of bringing warmth, love, light and encouragement to those who crave these very things. In the end it doesn’t matter to our Maker if the home is big or small, new or old he doesn’t give out stickers as our peers do, he simply desires us to steward the gift of the place well to allow the space that we call home to be a place of home for others.
The buildings we call home are really only walls, doors and floors. What makes them home is what each of us brings to the space and who we share it with. We have all been given a great gift if we have been given a safe space to call home, now who needs to be invited in?
Explore the idea of home with me through November while looking at the life of Abraham. Get every post to your inbox so you don’t miss one by signing up here.
Steph is a mom to four girls and wife to one very supportive man. She is the Executive Director of Stories Foundation and is passionate about fighting for freedom both spiritual and physical. Her days consist of car pooling, ministry, parenting and lots of coffee.