Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gram’s House

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:7


When it comes to spiritual gifts I would tell you that I have no gift for evangelism. Any spiritual assessment I’ve ever taken has backed up that belief. In the traditional door knocking, Roman Roading sense, I am not, not, not an evangelist. I’m an encourager, a hostess, the support team, if you will. In the assessment this is lumped under exhortation.  I’m not fond of the word but I like the ideas behind it.

Earlier today while reading an excellent book about growing more like God I came across a scene that gave me a new perspective. The author was talking about standing near the Father, being close to Him, at home with Him, welcoming others back to or into fellowship with God. That reminded me of one of my favorite childhood experiences.

Growing up my absolute favorite person in the entire world was my Gram. She was so dear to me that spending time with her, no matter what we were doing, was the best thing in my life. (As a point of reference I offer this, every summer during one or more of my extended stays with Gram I was always counseled to bring something “dressy” in case we had to attend a wake or funeral, which we almost always did. We also visited many relatives recovering from surgeries or home bound for some reason or another.  While Gram did her fair share of spoiling me rotten she also taught me a lot about real life.) The scene that came to mind earlier was of being at Gram’s house when the cousins came to visit. The image in my mind was as vivid as if it happened yesterday. I saw myself standing on Gram’s porch, just outside her front door with my cousins coming up the stairs. I was the greeter, the welcome committee, the right hand of grace and joy. Standing there in that doorway I was welcoming my cousins into the safe haven of unconditional love, also known as Gram’s house. I felt so privileged to have that position. It was fair superior than being the one on the stairs ushered in by a cousin.

That is what I saw and felt when I read the description in the book earlier and I realized I am not an evangelist but if you get to the door, so to speak, I’m fairly sure the smile on my face and the joy in my heart will do the work for me. Once inside, well, there’s where my Father lets me shine and just like at Gram’s I’ll be happy to point out all the treats and delights that await in that inner circle of love.

We all have different spiritual gifts. I’ve often felt inadequate because I’m not great at the invitation. Today I am grateful to God for showing me what I can do and do well. I’m exceedingly grateful for the illustration that shows me just how special and chosen I am. That is exactly how it felt to stand in the doorway at Gram’s, chosen and special. Gram didn’t play favorites and I’m sure every one of my sisters and cousins felt that same feeling at some point. To me that is a perfect picture of the Father’s love for us. There are no favorites because we’re all favorites, chosen and precious. That brings me huge joy and I hope it does for you too.