The Lake House
It’s across the street from OK Liquor. It’s falling apart and making new what has been thrown away. It’s simple and unpolished and bubbling over with life. It’s an unlikely group of people that have no business sharing a home, a meal, or a life together; and it looks like the kingdom of God, a vision of what is to come and a reality in the midst of us. This is my community. This is my home. These are my people.
Our life is fun, busy, hard, joyful and at times confusing, and there are few easy answers. Each moment we live and decide how to act or react as though we live at the foot of Jesus' throne, because we do. We act in front of Him in faith that we are, as best we understand, doing His will in this neighborhood. This of course does not mean that we actually are doing his will, and that is the challenge of applying theology. We all have lots of ideas about God, His kingdom, His will, and especially about right and wrong. We try to avoid the temptation to try to imagine every possible scenario and pre-determine the right response because there are some that we just can't imagine or appreciate until they happen. Our ideas about God and life and people are worked out in concrete reality. We must act and do and build and respond. We must live. So we try and spend ourselves on behalf of others and hold tight to the promise that our righteousness would go before us, and God's grace and glory would have our back. But in a life where you are, in each moment, doing theology as you walk into hard relationships and messy reality, it is dizzying.
Here’s a good example. Home church was over and everyone had left. It was about midnight when there was a knock at the door. It was a young guy that used to come around a lot but had left town for a while. Robby and Drew were the ones there to answer the door. Apparently this guy gave them a different name and asked to come in, he was obviously drunk and had a fairly menacing-looking buddy with him, who we had never met. They call Jon to come up front, and he remembered him immediately, very quiet and odd while sober and very wild and unpredictable when intoxicated. So he is at our door, drunk and high, and asking to come in. Jon told them it was late and that we were on our way to bed, but that they could come in and sit down for a few minutes. They came in and this guy was saying one ridiculous thing after another. His friend seemed to get more and more bothered by him and more and more nervous about him doing this in our house with what was now four of us standing around, once Will showed up. Then he looks at Will and says, "You remember when I robbed your house?" Of course we are all like "No.... we didn't know who robbed us." "Yeah when that back window got broken....y'all still mad at me about that?" Are you serious?! His friend became nervous and started getting up to leave and we just said "That was you? We didn't know that."
Adrenaline shoots through Jon’s skull as he thinks of a few other guys that we had confronted about breaking in our home (which they did another time so...whatever). Jon’s first and most honest reaction is to slam this dude’s head into the wall and choke him out. He’s a work in progress and still learning the way of peace. But before Jon’s temper gets the better of our guest’s neck, he asks for prayer. So we all joined hands as the guest turned on a Lil John song on his cell phone and we prayed for these two men, accompanied by the most amazingly profane musical backdrop ever. God be with them, protect them, guide them. God forgive us for caring more about what was stolen than those who stole it.
~ David Smith
Contact number: 813.508.7842