27 November 2009

A Radical Realization!

A radical realization hit me this week. I have no home. I know I have been on the road for almost six months. I know I haven't had a "home" as we know it. What I never really thought about is that I truly have no place that I could stay without outstaying my welcome. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bash on all the wonderful people that I have stayed with, but let's face it, it can get old having someone hanging around too long. I'm currently in Gulfport, MS, the place I call home. This is where my home church is, Family Worship Center, and where my ministry PO Box is. My bank is here, along with an incredible circle of friends. So all in all, this is home! But then again, is it?

I recently came into town for the Thanksgiving holiday and to get some much needed R&R from nearly six months of non stop travel. It occurred to me the other day that the house I'm staying in isn't my house, this isn't my water, this isn't my electricity, and this isn't my internet connection. Then it occurred to me that no matter how much I might consider Gulfport "home", I don't have a real home of my own. At some point, no matter how gracious our heart is, it does get old having somebody there who doesn't live there. Nothing has been said, or even implied, just a realization on my part. I don't think I have ever looked at life this way before, completely homeless in the most literal of terms.

My parents moved out of their house and into a travel trailer for their retirement years. My sister in Michigan lives in an apartment that doesn't allow dogs, my brother lives in a small apartment in Indianapolis, and my other sister lives in a small house in Texas with a husband, daughter, and two cats. This means no extended place to live. The initial thought of this revelation sent me into a moment of panic, but I was quickly reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:58, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air [have] nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay [His] head." Suddenly I realized this is me, and if I truly have no "home" while on this mission that God has me on that I'm in pretty good company. Jesus Himself had no permanent home after His ministry started. There are worse people to be lumped into a category with.

So, what I conclude from this radical realization, revelation, epiphany, or whatever label you might put on it, is that being "homeless" really isn't so bad when your in the middle of God's will for your life. I know not everyone is called to this lifestyle, but I am, and the more time I spend with God the more I am starting to like it. God is good and He does take care of every need that I have, whether it be food, gas, clothing, or a place to stay, He's got my back. The saddest part of this realization for me is their are millions in the U.S. without a "home", but unlike me, it is not a choice. For them there is no place to have to worry about overstaying their welcome. There is no place to stay warm or eat a hot meal. There are people everywhere that literally have no place to lay their head, or a place to call "home". I challenge to every person that reads this is to look for a way that you can be a blessing to those in your community this holiday season. Look for a way that you can help those who have no "home". Stop complaining about the problem and help be a part of the solution. Love people right where they are. The reason they are their isn't important. What is important is what are you willing to do to help. Love truly is contagious, pass it on!

P.S. to anyone whom I may have overstayed my welcome, I am very sorry! I will work harder in the future to stay within my limits. I am grateful for and love every person and family that has welcomed me into their homes. I couldn't have done what I have without them.

So what are your thoughts? Can someone outstay their welcome? Have you ever outstayed your welcome? Have you ever had a friend or family member outstay their welcome with you? What can you do to help someone in need have a happier holiday season? How can you pass God's love on?

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