By: Christi Grimm
The wooden door creaked as she slowly opened it and peered inside. A cool wind blew through her hair as she closed her eyes. The wind’s refreshing embrace welcomed her in and swept her through the foyer and into a long corridor of rooms. Slowly, she gazed down the hall wondering what lay ahead. Should she move forward or slowly retreat? Gathering her courage, she stepped into the unknown.
Sounds of scripture and teaching echoed from the first room. One strong voice here, another meek voice there. Each one pulling apart the layers of the Word. The wind urged her on and she stepped in, surrendering to its lead. Comfort and delight raced through her body as she soaked up every moment learning with these new friends. It was time to move and the wind swept her to another room; a lighthearted place filled with laughter, singing, and games. Child-like joy overcame her body as she learned to be carefree, fully trusting that she was accepted and loved. As she sat reflecting, feeling thankful and at rest, the scent of freshly baked bread wafted from the next room. Unable to ignore it, she made her way toward the smell. As she entered, she noticed the abundance of activity: ladies sharing the task of laundry, others cooking together, and still others creating gifts for the elderly. Picking up a piece of laundry, she began folding it as she observed and took in all that this room encompassed. There was chatter among the friends which included stories of life and death and the in-between and there was an intimacy and ease felt in this space. Suddenly, the wind picked her up and carried her to one final room. People prayed in one corner while a group in another corner had their hands raised in worship. Music played in the background adding to the sense of Awe and Wonder. Sincerity of heart and respect was palpable, and a oneness was experienced as all prayed and worshiped together. Joining the others, she fell to her knees before her Creator. The wind then swept her back through the corridor and set her down by the door through which she had entered. A Bible lay open at her feet…
“Those rooms are beautiful,” she thought. “I adore each one; all so unique and every one necessary. I wish I belonged here.” she said to herself. Glancing down, she focused in as the words leaped off the page. “You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household…” (Ephesians 2:19). She pondered what this could mean…
Each of us were born with an innate desire to belong. From birth, we crave belonging. The infant buries her head into her mother’s chest looking for just the right place to nuzzle in. She is searching for comfort, security and ultimately a place of belonging. The young child, too shy to show his face hides behind his mother’s leg and peers around the corner as the tall stranger speaks. He, too, is searching for a place of security and belonging. The awkward middle school girl becomes loud and unruly. She craves a sense of acceptance and belonging. The teen boy struts down the school hall, wearing the latest fad and most expensive shoes, wanting with all of his heart to belong somewhere in this vast sea of people. Our desire to belong never ceases, but only grows in intensity until we, at last, find where we truly belong or give up, becoming hard and ambivalent.
We were created to belong Somewhere; not just anywhere, but Somewhere. We were created to commune simultaneously with one another and with God. So many of us struggle to find where it is that we “fit in” and belong. “I am different from this group,” you may say. “I just don’t belong there.” she thinks. However, the truth of the matter is that anywhere you are with fellow believers is a place of belonging. Through simple virtue of who your Father is, you belong together.
In the house pictured above, the girl was swept into different “rooms” of community. In each of these rooms she experienced something unique and different, yet all were just as beautiful. Because they all shared the same Heavenly Father, the girl was able to join in each of these different “community rooms.” Different rooms, yet all belonging to the same House: Christ’s House.
As believers, we are all in one of these community rooms in Christ’s House. Perhaps you are in a season of communing with others in the “Word Room.” You are delving deep into scripture and it is an explosive season of growth. Praise God for the time in this precious room! The girl standing at the door? She is hungry for the Word, yet she doesn’t know where to go. Invite her in. She belongs.
Maybe you are currently in the “Lighthearted Room.” Your season of communing with others is a season of fun. The laughter is contagious and the games aplenty! The girl gazing in as you laugh? She needs to be welcomed in. She is hurting and desperately needs the gift of laughter and lightheartedness. Invite her to join.
Perhaps you currently reside in the “Serving Room.” You spend days at your friends’ home helping with her new baby, or perhaps you are helping the elderly neighbor shop. You are in a season of being able to give and serve. Do you see the lonely woman standing by without a sense purpose or belonging? Invite her to join you. Your invitation will be welcomed more than you know.
Those in the “Prayer and Worship Room” will need to be especially vigilant. It is so easy to get caught up in our own prayer and worship and disregard those weeping right beside us. It is much too easy to become selfish and greedy; praying for our own selves yet missing the entire world outside. Who is that woman weeping outside the door that has gone unnoticed? Who is she that needs intercession and a time of worship brought to her? Take her by the hand and stand in the gap for this precious soul.
Each of us are in a room. Or perhaps we are the girl peering into Christ’s House. We all have a choice. Will I pull others into the family? Or will I turn away? If I am gazing into the house, will I be courageous and step inside a room or will I slowly back away into loneliness and a hardened heart? Will I pursue Community or will I retreat? It was God’s idea and God’s plan. It was He who placed that craving of belonging in our souls. He is the God of Communing; the One who makes us belong.
Christi is a fifth generation Florida girl who loves the sand, the sea, and the sunshine! When she is not busy mothering her 6 children, she enjoys her garden, traveling, experiencing new cultures, and indulging in warm chocolate chip cookies while reading a good book or journaling. Christi is passionate about bringing women alongside her into a life of freedom in Christ, and does so by leading Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreats.