As we sat on the newly-finished front porch of the new ACTS House recently on a sunny Sunday afternoon, swinging in the newly-hung porch swings, we realized that we were basking in something else brand-new that was much more than just the welcomed heat of the early spring sun. It was a warmth that penetrated much deeper than our skin. At first, I wasn’t even sure I knew what it was that felt different that day. All I knew is that I felt more comfortable with these people I live with, this group I call family, but don’t always fully grasp what that means. I was at ease with them, rather than awkwardly wondering whether I really belonged there with them on “their” front porch swing.
We were taking our weekend tour of the latest progress on the house. The dry wall had gone up, creating the good kind of walls that are necessary in the building of a safe house and healthy home. You know, the ones we talked about last week… the “building walls that support and provide shelter and security” and it was interesting to notice that the walls actually made the house feel more spacious somehow.
We walked together from room to room remembering the beautiful words of life, love, and destiny that had been written in each room and on the door frames for all who passed through them. And afterward, we relaxed on the porch for a while… rocking back and forth, soaking up the sun and the moment. It was the Sabbath after all, that day designed for rest and reflection on the goodness of God. We chatted and listened to music. We smiled and laughed a lot. We prayed a little. We reflected in the easy silence of safe company.
Then it hit me…. What I was feeling, and what we were a part of on that front-porch swing that day, was family. Not just the idea of it, but the reality. The reality of belonging. Safety. Connectedness. We were basking in the very real and wonderful warmth of Love.