For most of my adult life I have wanted a house with a front porch. There is something that draws me to that space.
It’s the space in front of a home where people gather. It’s a comfortable space, a space that says all are welcome. It says come join us here, there is always room for one more.
The front porch is where community happens. There is laughter, stories and sweet tea or maybe some lemonade. Anyone can come, in fact it’s hard not to join the laughter as you walk by and hear someone call out, “Come join us! There is room!”
The front porch is a place of emotional comfort. A place you can sit and share your hopes, dreams and tears. We laugh and we cry surrounded by others who have joined us there. There are no judgments, no exclusions for all are encourage to, “Come on up!”
My house does not have a front porch, maybe someday, but it does have a nice big back deck. A deck can be just as comfortable with laughter and stories taking place. But it’s in the back, it’s hidden from view. Those walking by may hear the laughter but they don’t feel invited in, nor are they welcomed to come.
The back of the house is more private and often for those that have been invited. It is for private parties. When you are behind your home you can not see the community, your focus in smaller, more private.
There are times for both spaces in our lives, but I desire to live the better part of my life on the front porch. I want my life to make others feel welcome regardless of their income, social status or the color of skin.
I want to sit on the front porch ready to serve those walking by. I want to refresh their bodies with a place to sit and a cool refreshing drink. I want to refresh their soul with laughter and a sense of belonging. And I want look for opportunities to refresh their hearts as I share Jesus with them.
To be honest I am more comfortable sitting on the back deck with a few friends, but I am asking Jesus to open my heart and my eyes to see those times when I need to be sitting on the front porch and inviting all to come…