The movers have left. The doors are finally closed and the A/C is now cycling some air that’s slightly less than 90-degrees. And we are home. Oh, I’m sorry. I mean we’re in the apartment. The girls keep telling me this is not home. This is temporary. This is only a place to sleep and eat and do homework until our house in North Richland Hills sells and we can purchase a more permanent dwelling here in Amarillo.
OK. They are right to some degree. But at the same time, I’m trying to communicate to them that this, too, is a wonderful part of our journey together as a family, seeking God, and trying to follow him as best we can. Even this apartment, #1622, is a holy place. God is present with his people in this apartment. He’s active and working and revealing himself to us in #1622. Just today we have been warmly welcomed by Scott and Kim and their two kids. Olen and Terry delivered two cases of ice cold bottled water. Janelle brought by a massive welcome basket full of things we desperately needed but hadn’t thought of ahead of time. Steve and Bob met us with hugs and smiles in the church parking lot as the movers dropped my boxes off in my new study. John Todd and Kami brought dinner. And a microwave oven. The mint iced-tea I’m drinking now is courtesy of their kindness. Tanner and Barrett and Bailey dropped by to say ‘hi’ and take our three girls to play Putt Putt and drive go-carts.
We spent all day with three movers we’ve never met before. And now I know about their kids and their famililes, where they’re from, and some of the things that have shaped their views. They’ve been invited to worship with us at Central tomorrow. So has the president of the moving company who stopped by to meet the new preacher at “that downtown church.” I won’t be surprised if I see one of them in the morning.
We have already prayed together in this living room at #1622. We gathered up in a tight and sorta sweaty circle and praised God for the blessings of his love and provision that are manifest as brothers and sisters take care of one another. We locked hands and put our arms around people we’ve known for a month now and others we had just met. And we asked our Father to bless our apartment. We prayed that every encounter — between family members, church members, people in the community — that takes place in our apartment would bring him glory and honor.
We might be in this upstairs apartment for six weeks or six months. Maybe longer. We don’t know. My prayer is that God will use our time here to teach us, to shape us, to prepare us for what lies ahead in Amarillo. And that he’ll do something with us and through us here that we haven’t even yet imagined. And that we’ll be better disciples because of the time spent in #1622.