So the move is complete. The previous place is empty. Yesterday our young helper came through and did the last regular cleaning and last night my wife and I went in, had a last look around, turned off the breakers, locked the door, and walked away.
It’s a strange feeling to walk through empty rooms with bare walls and the quiet.
Walking room to room a film clip was playing, a mental hologram with people, sights, and sounds.
There on the empty counter was a vision of food and drink, a line of people picking and choosing, bistro tables and chairs where folks gathered and talked.
Standing at the welcome counter the imaged of a new face or faces coming through the front door, some local, some from far away… someone turning and greeting them, seeing tentativeness and uncertainty of being somewhere new and not knowing anyone turn to the pleasure of being greeted and welcomed.
Down the hall the first classroom, then office, out from it the echo of a tiny, feisty, little old lady sharing her knowledge of Hebrew with others. Further on to the next room where a rock climbing wall had initially been built and things set up for kids, later to become the staging area for putting together care packages for the homeless, a place to sort product for our online store or be packed for upcoming conferences, served as a meeting room for men’s bible study, memories of voices, facial expressions, serious moments, frivolous moments.
In the sanctuary ethereal forms of people coming, sitting down, of song and prayer being offered and lead on stage, the form and gestures of a speaker as words of scripture were spoken and examined…
costumed people milling about, playing games and listening to the words… watching an enactment… of Esther for celebration of Purim.
Tables set up filling the entire room, people bringing food and sharing food in observance of God’s appointed feasts, smiles, attentive faces, children running about, the sound of music, and Scripture in the air.
At the end of the meal, the sight and sound of organized chaos as the room is transformed from a banquet hall back to church chairs for the next day’s regular meeting…and in the background, the voices of women can be heard. Noisy talk and laughter…someone begins humming a song, someone else added words and in an instant, they were all singing …one hymn after another as they worked through the chore of cleanup.
The film continues with a walk through Marketplace, the warehouse, the main office, and gym… looking at the spaces and seeing the folks working, taking phone calls, answering questions, being the face and character of God in a ministry to all they come in contact with and as it comes to an end the empty rooms… silent, with their nicks and scratches and carpets smudged here and there… come back into focus.
Visions of those times are not left behind as we lock the doors and walk away.
All of it goes with us as we continue in the purposes and will of our God… just in another place.
They are experiences that have enriched and edified us, hopefully to greater maturity in our walk with the Father and with one another.
Father, we are humbled that You would bless us so…
we have enjoyed so much good that You are author of.
We pray that the good You have blessed us with and the good You continue to bless with is because You have looked into our hearts and found in us an intention, characterized by love for You, to live correctly before You and that we have in some measure won favor… and that You Father… are giving us opportunity now to increase beyond where we are today, for Your glory.
May what we have learned and grown in for doing good serve in continuing to do so and may what You have taught us through pitfalls we have had along the way also serve as wisdom for recognizing and dealing with them in the future... according as You would have us do.
We are not blessed because of our own merit but because You have chosen to do so to us. May we then recognize that… be humbled and appreciative of it… may it inspire in us a love for You… in return for Your love for us… and a daily renewal of our efforts to know Your Good and use It to judge what is right and wrong, make our decisions… and live our lives by.
“…No one is good except God…”
“…You alone are God…”
In Yeshua’s name we pray.
May God’s love be in us all.
Mark 10:18 CJB
Psalm 86:10 CJB