Big weekend this weekend. Justin’s up to his eyes in Home for the Holidays—a project he started last year with his friend Bill. It’s one of my favorite ways he serves God.
Over three days, a handful of people will completely change the lives of a needy Henderson family—a family without resources and a family without God. They’ll pull up moldy carpet, paint walls, lay flooring, fix what’s broken, and otherwise renovate a messed up house. We buy a Christmas tree and decorate the house for the holidays. We give them a Walmart gift certificate for groceries, or whatever. When they’re done, Justin, Bill and the crew will have worked for about 35 hours each.
What I love about this act of service and love is the scale of the thing. So many times, especially at Christmas, we do these small acts that, while good, don’t make any kind of dent in the real problem. Fifty dollars in Christmas presents doesn’t change the way a child lives every day. This does. These kids, this family, will see what it’s like to live in a house that’s not broken. Maybe, too, they’ll see that lives don’t have to be broken either.
My other favorite thing about this project is that it’s hands-on. It takes people doing more than opening up their wallets. They have to get dirty. They have to walk into a poor person’s house. They have to touch their things. They have to rub up against lives lived outside of God’s mercy. It’s uncomfortable. It takes effort.
I think sometimes of Jesus’ being a carpenter’s son and of His all-up-in-it style of ministry, and I imagine Jesus there hammering away beside Justin and Bill, sweaty and happy.