Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
It’s hard to believe, but we have lived in our house for over 10 years. When we first moved in, we had been married for 2 years and we had a dog, but no kids. Our neighborhood was (and mostly still is), hot-neighborhood adjacent, so we could actually afford to get a good sized house, that wasn’t a fixer upper, in the city. A lot has changed over the last 10 years. The neighborhood has grown, fewer houses are vacant, but there is still a vacant Pizza Hut just around the corner. We’ve added 2 kids, and made family out of neighbors.
I’ve always had this dream for our house that it would be a place for comfort and respite for our family and friends. That’s how I’ve made a lot of the design decisions over the years. Is it COZY? Will it make people feel SAFE? When they sit on this couch, will they feel COMFORT? Is there space to BREATHE and REST? Eventually, I felt like the answer was NO. As our family and community grew, it was becoming harder to feel calm and cozy. We didn’t need more space, but I felt like we needed better space. Space that was more intentional for the way we wanted to use our house. So we started looking at other homes in the area. But there wasn’t really anything that would have met my requirements. At least not in our price range. And we didn’t want to move out of our community. So instead of packing up, we demolished our kitchen. And redesigned our office into more of a guest room/playroom for the kids. It is beautiful, and more open, and it is a reflection of my style.
But it is not mine.
In the process of planning and dreaming up our new space, I realized this idea of COMFORT I was striving for, that I was so desperate to give, could never come from a couch or table or even the most delicious meal. If it’s up to me to provide all comfort, I will never be content with what we have. I will keep seeking new things for our home, finding new systems to put in place, and stressing over imperfections. And I’m really good at spinning this type of consumerism to look like selflessness.
But the truth is, true comfort can only come from Jesus. We have been given this space not so we can feel comfortable, but to share His comfort. We knocked down walls and made a bigger table we that we could SHARE IT. Often, we pray “Your Kingdom come” and I think it’s become this abstract thing. The kingdom will come one day, out there. But that’s not really the prayer is it? We are praying for the Kingdom here and now. This kitchen, this couch, this guest room – they can be small glimpses of His Kingdom. They can be thin spaces where Heaven meets Earth. And when we go out from here, we can leave revived. Filled with hope, energy, and life.
As we enter into the Christmas season, that is my prayer for my spaces and yours as well. That they provide more than just physical comfort and sustenance. That in them you will find a thin space for you to encounter true COMFORT and REST in the hustle of the season. That you will feel content with what you have been given, and then give it away to those around your table.