The waiting period has to be the most emotional for me. For the past month, Zack and I have agreed to begin our search for a new house, one that would be ours for at least a decade or more. It all started at the beginning of last month when Zack massively encountered the Holy Spirit in such a way that he has been a changed man ever since. His heart has been continually aching for the poor. “I want to be like George Bailey”, he told me. I agreed, but didn’t have the same zeal until a week later when I went to the prayer room strictly to spend some time waiting on the Lord to see what He might want to tell me. After a divine appointment type conversation with a dear friend in the coffee shop, I began to have Luke 6:30 racing through my mind.
“Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back”, it says. The verse is offensive to the American dream, but Jesus gives no qualifiers to make it easier to swallow. Zack and I had only just begun discussing moving from our present situation because of some unfortunate circumstances that occurred with the owner of the house. We had the option of either trying to buy it, or choosing to move elsewhere.
Suddenly I found myself burdened for the poor as well as I sat in prayer, but in a way I never would have expected. We could stay in our house and try to buy it, but pictures began to flash through my mind of the people I most admire. All of them had two common characteristics: they are joyful and they are generous. It was not only that they were generous with their finances, though that is a great prayer of mine (God, make me a joyful giver! I want to give millions of dollars away for the spreading of the gospel!), but they are also generous with their heart and their time. There are those who give of their resources but never open their heart, and never give of their time. I want to be one who is generous in all three areas: heart, time, money.
Among the people I saw as I prayed came a random scene from a movie that I don’t particularly like. It was the movie “Ever After”, which I haven’t seen in years. The prince of the story is entirely too self-preoccupied for his own good, but after meeting the heroine of the story, he is ignited with passion for things he had never considered before. The scene that came to mind was when he was gushing to her about this newfound zeal and says the line, “I used to think that if I cared about anything I’d have to care about everything, and I’d go stark raving mad. But now I’ve found my purpose.”
My stomach fluttered inside of me and I realized that what I thought I was made for was only a small fraction of the story. What was I beginning to understand about my future? It was as if Jesus was inviting me and my little family into the type of ministry that few (including myself) would think possible. Yes, we could stay in our current house, but I began to feel as though Zack and I were to be like a father and a mother to many who needed to know that kind of love. Too many people have grown up only knowing the abandonment and disappointment associated with being a child of somebody. I’m not even talking about adoption, though I pray we will be able to do that one day as well. I’m talking about expressing the love of Christ to people, young and old alike, that the Lord puts in our path who have never known the peace of a loving Christ-centered home, the warmth of an environment where prayer is commonplace, and the safety found in the care of ones who value those who cannot fight for themselves.
I felt as though the Lord was saying that the home we are currently in is too small for the ministry assignment He has for us: to do life as lovers of Jesus with a tangible expression of helping those in need in a real way, on a daily basis. It’s a very expensive undertaking. We need a house with lots of room, lots of beds, lots of food, but thankfully I know this: the Lord ALWAYS pays for what He orders. I have no idea what all of this will mean for the coming year, but life is about to get a lot more exciting for this little Hensley clan.