Monday, December 17, 2018

making home

I had on my grandpa Carl’s cap, with a Delta pin from my nephew stuck in it, a bandana from my dad and earrings he made. The purple suitcase was a birthday present from my parents. Those jeans were hand-me-downs from my uncle Rance. My mom bought the shoes and that green scarf I stuffed into my suitcase was from my friends Brittney and Julie. My friend Kelley packed her bags the same day and we left together. 

I just moved back to America and am staying on my parents' farm. 

The little girl was sitting with her mom outside of the hostel in the red-light district. She was about four, from East Africa, and eager to make a new friend. She drew a picture for me on a scrap piece of paper. There was a house and grass, a home. I tucked the artwork inside my Bible. 

A couple years later, Jesus and I were talking to each other in the floor of a children's home in northern India, colored markers and Bible in front of me. Two girls from the home found me. I smiled, let them know they were free to use the markers, and kept reading the Bible. A few minutes later, I looked up to find my red-light artwork had new colors all over it, more houses and flowers added to the page. I smiled at the proud Indian artists and tucked it back into my Bible. 

Kids living in hostels in red light districts, kids living in orphanages, and everyone else on the globe- we all want a home filled with love. 

We're sons and daughters of the living God. 

He's safe and He's home. 

Home is something deeper and more than walls with a roof. The structure doesn't give the deep down feeling of home that everyone longs for. Only God does. Home is living with Jesus inside of us (John 15:4). He's looking right into all of our heart homes right now, wanting to fill them and make them more completely His, filled with His fellowship and with family. 

Beautiful, good, and forever; the home He's making in me. Jesus, the Homemaker King, is making home inside of His people that will last forever in Heaven. Colors, family, really good smells, twinkle lights, mercy, love that never ends; my home in Heaven is getting decorated and Jesus only decorates with unbelievably good stuff.

"My Father's house has many dwelling places. If it were otherwise, I would tell you plainly, because I go to prepare a place for you to rest."
John 14:2

For two years, I spent a lot of nights in a lot of places, learning to trust Jesus as my home in the middle of the nonroutine. I started carrying twinkle lights in my purse. As days and nights stayed un-predictable, I found a safe place in God's presence. He's always the same, He's always comfort, He's always hope, He's always mine. I hang those twinkle lights and I rest at home, my heart filled with His love, no matter where in the world I am. 

Back on this farm I grew up on, in this house my dad built, Jesus is here with me like He is when I'm 8,013 miles away. 

On the flight that moved me from Hong Kong to America was my mom, dad, and Terry. Terry was a Chinese man who studied the scribbled Scripture I gave him, holding it in his hand like a mystery he was interested in discovering. He let me pray for him. A few minutes later, he said, “This is a very nice experience, you blessing me.” What God wants to do is bring Terry into His family, hold him on His lap, tell him how special he is, and make him feel at home.  That's what God wants to do for everyone. 

He puts home (Heaven) inside of us and then helps us share it with little girls in red light districts and orphanages, with co-workers, with neighbors, with Chinese men on planes. 

Heaven is made of family. On Earth, we get to experience Heaven through Jesus' company and then we get to bring Heaven into each other’s lives. 

Read John 14:23. Invite the Holy Spirit to do what He wants in your heart home today. Ask Jesus to show you how much He likes being with you, pause and listen. Then write a note, give a present, share your time, talk about Heaven; help someone feel at home today. 

-Jason Upton

No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
-1 John 4:12