This week’s Guest Post Wednesday comes courtesy of my new friend, Tamara Murphy, who blogs at Living Palm: A Sacramental Life. In addition to being a writer, Tamara is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, reader, worship & arts director, and co-laborer in ministry at her church. Over at Living Palm, Tamara writes about “all the ways her life is transformed when it is laid at the feet of Jesus.” A few years ago, Tamara and her family moved homes, neighborhoods, and communities, and she’s written beautifully about the struggles she faced as part of those changes. Today’s guest post is an abridged version of something she wrote back in 2008, but you can read the full, unabridged text here.
It’s official. We are in our new digs at 106 Jefferson Avenue.
Whew – eeee! This move may have taken some years off my life. We pulled in the narrow cement drive — past two of our moving heroes waiting for us on the front steps — and a wave of relief just about drowned me. “It’s ours. It’s done. Good Lord, we’ve got sooo much work to do!”
Barely out of the car, another hero walked up the driveway toward us. (This one was of the 6’8″ variety, wearing a black t-shirt with white lettering, “Yes…I AM tall.”) And one by one (and sometimes two by two) more heroes and heroines arrived.
Later, in bed trying to unwind from the day, my husband Brian couldn’t avoid animal metaphors when describing these people. As in “That guy is a horse!” and “Every room I walked into looked like a bee hive…people buzzing around moving and unpacking boxes and setting up beds and…”
If I used a metaphor, it would be angels. The warring kind. For I knew from the two men sitting on our front steps when we arrived to the last weary guy leaving, tool box in hand, these people were working, praising and praying. Sometimes out loud, sometimes in a passing comment to another person and, I suspect, sometimes in silent whispers.
When we stopped working to eat dinner (another gift from these horse-bee-angel-people), the 25ish people stood in a large circle around the dining room and prayed, the from-the-toes-we-belong-to-Jesus-and-we’re-taking authority kind of prayers. Brian remembers exact phrases; I was too overwhelmed by the Spirit to remember exact words, plus I was frantically trying to capture the images on my puny cell phone camera. I do remember my friend Neil’s (of the 6’8″ variety) prayer: “God, thank you. This is what the church should be and this is what the Church is.”
Amen. Laying all metaphors aside, I am forever grateful for my brothers and sisters. The ones who got on their hands and knees cleaning out our last house. The ones who risked physical injury moving annoying pieces of furniture like pianos and king sized mattresses and my underwear drawers. The ones who took our family in for lovely, relaxing, yummy dinners. The ones who treated our circumstances as prayer priorities. The ones who believed for us when we just were too tired to think about it anymore. The ones who boldly declared that our move to this neighborhood was about bringing light to darkness when I was too afraid to admit it. The family that let us live with them for 48 hours and not only that, but lived true to their Italian heritage and fed us night and day with amazing foods and fancies. The ones who pitched in on a surprise housewarming gift — Brian’s dream grill. And all the horse-bee-angel-people of Friday night.