Apartment or house, high rise or hut, your home is not just one blessing, but many.
Posted in , Jun 18, 2015
Home is home, however humble. A roof overhead. Shelter from storms. Indoor plumbing and electric lights. Refrigerator. Stove. A closet, a bed, a shelf, a table. Maybe, if you’re like me, a few books. Or, if you’re like my wife, a few touches of beauty and charm. But all are blessings.
Do you know how exceptional that is? How blessed you are? How unusual in terms of the world's population and history?
Probably not. Whether "home" is an apartment or house, a high rise or a hut, it is not just a blessing but a collection of blessings, in many cases an “embarrassment of riches.”
So why not take a moment or more to give thanks for it? Why not go room by room, wall by wall, possession by possession? Would that take too long? Doesn't it speak volumes if the answer is "yes"?
The last time my wife, two children, and I moved into a new home, we did something we had never done (or seen done) before: once we were all moved in, we invited a few close friends and family over for a “house blessing.” We wanted to say "thank you," at some length--and depth--for the amazing blessing of a house and a home.
We started by walking the perimeter of the property, hand-in-hand, thanking God "for the beauty of this place: the trees, the grass, the sky, the birds." We walked around to the front door where we prayed, "God, be in all our comings and goings in this house; please take your position, not as a guest, but as the head of this house."
We went from room to room, not only giving thanks but also expressing our desires for the future in each room: for the work that would be produced in our home office, the meals to be cooked in the kitchen, the laughter to be shared around the table; for wholesome entertainment in the family room and bedtime prayers and restful nights in each bedroom.
I had prepared a responsive reading for a couple rooms. In the kids' bedrooms, we encouraged them to stand in the center and express their gratitude and hopes and dreams. We even crowded into the bathrooms for prayer (giggling only a little--okay, a lot).
In conclusion, we read together a few lines of verse that I wrote for the occasion:
In the circle of this home, Lord, your presence here is needed,
For that fragile circle bends when Your word and will go unheeded;
In the circle of this home, Lord, be our strong foundation;
For we need your wisdom here in every situation.
In the circle of this home, Lord, your love is dearly wanted,
So we’ll never take your grace, our lives, this home, for granted. Amen.
Have you ever done something like that? Have you taken the time to go room by room, turn by turn, through your home, giving thanks and praying your hopes and dreams? It can be done for a new house…or an old one. It can be done upon moving in or moving out. It can be done, really, any time, maybe even annually. Or as children arrive. Or as young adults move out.
Sure, it may take a while to give thanks for so many blessings. But doesn’t that make it all the more necessary?