When I was priming our new bathroom the other night, the Lord really started impressing on me, and well, I think He wants me to buy a coffee maker. I don't think He care's that much about the maker itself, it's more about the coffee and whose drinking the coffee, and what they could be talking about when they are drinking it.
Let me back up for a minute. Earlier that night I'd taken the kids for a walk and one of the houses near by had a group of people sitting at tables in their driveway. Owen was interested and said "Mom, look" well a minute later (Owen had ridden ahead praise the Lord) some guy shouts "what you looking at *****." I was so mad! But I was also frustrated, here we have heard nothing but good things about the neighborhood and then for this to happen. I've been praying so hard for a new home and a safe location and I just couldn't believe that within weeks of moving in there would be cause for concern like that.
However, I've also been praying that I wouldn't let anything rob me of my joy and the blessing of this new home that the Lord provided for us. So I tried very hard to make sure this didn't steal my joy, and that I don't automatically discount that whole house because of this one incident.
So, fast forward to later that evening when I was priming my bathroom and talking to God between thoughts and ideas, and pondering what had happened as well as some other conversations I'd had with our neighbors to our immediate right whom I really enjoy, when I thought about coffee.
I don't drink coffee, so for me to be thinking about coffee is a little bit odd. We just got rid of a small coffee maker that we got for our wedding, having registered for it so that over night guests could use it, but after 6.5 years it still sat unused (unless you count the skittles Owen kept in it for awhile). I started to remember about some bible studies which a friend of mine used to have, and before she hosted them a neighbor of her's hosted them, and while she wasn't a believer she went, for the coffee.
As I began chewing on that one thought, the greater it began to grow. We aren't yet settled into our new place, I haven't yet discussed this with my husband, or asked my friend if she'd consider leading the study, and I've only officially met two neighbors, but the more I think about it the more this idea feels like it is from the Lord. In fact, I was supposed to have some friends over yesterday and had to cancel because one of the boys was recovering from hand foot and mouth, but prior to the cancellation of that event I'd read these verses during my devotion time and kept thinking on them, chewing on them, trying to make them fit into my life, or my idea of how I was going to use my new house for the Lord (ie inviting over church friends, youth group events, letting Owen have sleep overs, girls nights, couples nights, family meals etc).
"A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come for everything is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses.(...)The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' 'Sir,' the servant said 'what you have ordered has been done, but there is still room.' Then the master told his servant, 'Go, out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'" Luke 14: 16-23
I wish I had my study bible with me so I could quote what the note said, but basically the gist of it was, not to merely invite your friends over because you will be repaid by them or be repaying them for when they have or have had you over, but to instead invite strangers and the poor, to bless others without any expectation or hopes of being blessed in return.
When I was first thinking on these verses I took poor to mean poor, in the literal sense, but now I'm realizing the Lord is calling me to reach out to people in my neighborhood who are poor figuratively. Poor in spirit, or poor in knowledge of Christ.
For a long time now I haven't had a platform for leading non Christians to the Lord. I work in a christian office where I occasionally associate with a church secretary or associational team member, I go to church three times a week, and my best friends are Christians. I use this space here to encourage my fellow Christian friends and hopefully reach a few of my non christian acquaintances on Facebook.
My husband and I were talking last week about how much we love our home (can someone say "honeymoon phase"?) when I mentioned how much I love our new location. It wasn't a place I had thought of, or specifically looked for. I'd been leaning towards something closer to my church (better schools, closer to friends, more in the country) and when we found this house I knew the location would work but I didn't realize how much I would love being in a nicer neighborhood, being able to go on long walks with the kids, seeing other kids riding their bikes and playing in yards. Now, I'm realizing that God's plans were even greater than that still, I'm realizing that I can be used here, that people need Jesus and I know him.
Stay tuned to see what kind of coffee maker I end up buying, because at this point I know the Lord wants me to do it, and when the Lord say's "buy a coffee maker" you can't turn your back. Well, I guess you could but it wouldn't turn out well, just ask Jonah.