The first Sunday in our new house last fall a light thunderstorm rolled through. Suddenly the kids came hollering and stampeding through the front rooms to find us – there was a rainbow in the sky. From our new to us front porch we stood and marveled at the colorful reminder.
After years of homeless Sundays… the timing (a Sunday) and the location (The Front Porch) were not lost on me.
I do not believe in coincidence.
I believe in a God who speaks, shows up, sees, bends low to listen, and offers hope in the midst of all our bleeding, bruised, messy places.
So I thanked Him for the reminder of the promises God makes and keeps.
I praised Him for the manner in which He meets our needs and our hearts’ desires – to belong, to have a place, to live life well.
I thanked Him for good gifts and good things – the family we are becoming.
I thanked Him for hard gifts and the hard things – fractured places and things undone.
And I stood on that front porch grateful for His presence in all things.
But most especially for His being present in all the messy stuff too.
I Have This Thing About Front Porches
When we were looking to purchase our house last year Hubby and I put together a list of things that we would like to have in our new home. One of the main items I added to the list was a front porch. I have this thing with front porches.
– When I was a little girl staying at my grandparents’ house this is where I spent every lazy summer morning – the front porch. I played dolls, listened to my Walkman, read books, and imagined life from that piece of cement on the front of their house.
– As a preteen we lived in a sweeping, big old house and I read books, played games with all the foster kids and neighborhood kids on that big front porch in that small town.
– And even today one of my favorite parts about summer is spending two weeks at my parents’ house reading, chatting with grownups, monitoring kids while sipping sweet tea from the front porch.
Needless to say I was beyond overjoyed to find a house that fit us best – but that also happens to have a big front porch.
An Empty Front Porch
Right now my front porch is a little lonely.
There are two chairs – one is from our patio set and one is a rickety, wicker, rocking chair that I wouldn’t sit on. That rocking chair feels a little dangerous.
The scenery is my neighborhood – inner city houses with driveways and yards.
There are dogs barking, chain-link fences, and trash tumbling down the street. That pot hole out front is deceptive when it rains. And if you are sitting at the right position you can see the neon signs of the liquor store located on the main thoroughfare down the street.
The black bags floating in the air and the empty tiny bottles of booze left randomly on the front yard are evidence of NOT living in the suburbs.
This is not your grandma’s front porch…
But on a Sunday morning when the sun is coming up warm to my right…
And I see my neighbors for the first time this week…
It feels holy and sacred.
When I take out a pen and my journal and being to listen and write…
I can hear the Divine Whispers of being held and loved and known from this perch on the porch.
After years of homeless Sundays spent watching sunrises and dewdrops, frost and leaves, water fowl and beavers from the path this is a new season of experiencing Sundays from my perch on the porch.
I hope you will join me as I search for Sundays – on the front porch.