Friday, September 1, 2006
A Prayer for the House We Receive
After living on Aberdeen Drive for 12 years, we closed on a house near Eagle Creek Park this afternoon and will move into it in a week or so. I have not yet contemplated the full weight of this transition, particularly leaving our well-known digs and neighbors. But knowing that one of the people who has lived in the house we just purchased is a hospital chaplain and knowing my own desire to frame this transition in terms of grace, I wrote the following prayer an hour before closing today.
O God, we reverently receive this house
not as a purchase by our power and will, but
as a stewardship by which You may be glorified.
As full as our joy is in anticipation,
let our privilege be seasoned with the
salt of responsibility and care.
Empty as this place now is, we would fill it
not with the possessions of our pride
but with life and love and blessing.
As those who pass it on have cared for it
and grown together well within its walls,
let our hearts expand under this same roof.
As this dwelling has become a home to others,
let it become, once again, home to us—for however long
You desire that we should live here.
Let this place not define or possess us,
but become a reflection of our desire to live
in Your Word and hospitality and compassion.
Let the doors of this house swing open often
not just to our own loved ones and kin, but
alike to friends and neighbors and strangers.
Let us be neighbors to all who dwell nearby,
to honor and welcome and serve them as a
symbol of Your love for all You have created.
Go before those who leave this place behind;
bless their forward-looking journey
with remembrance and guidance and light.
Move before us, also, O God, into this place,
and find us full of gratitude for the grace that
makes such steps of faith and hope possible.