I hinted at this Monday, but J’s friend (we’ll call him “Dupree”) will be living with us for three months this summer and is arriving today.
It all started back in March. Dupree lives in Atlanta and was going through a very rough time. I won’t get into all the details, but he ended up losing a fiancée, found himself penniless, and didn’t have a place to live after May. He was in the bottom of a deep, dark pit. He came to stay with us a few weekends to figure things out, and J and I decided to invite him to stay for the summer to help him get his feet back on the ground. He’s in the middle of getting his doctorate degree and will spend his time here doing research for a grant, working at a pool to earn some money, and we’ll be helping him create a budget, get in shape, and work through some tough stuff he’s dealt with for a while.
You may be thinking we’re crazy for cramming three people into a small two-bedroom apartment for three months, and maybe we are! But it was one of those decisions where we felt convicted to help and ended up being an easy one to make. I was reading Acts a few months ago and admired how the early Church would sacrifice their possessions to help those in need. It says “there was not a needy person among them, for each distributed what they had to those who had a need.” (Acts 4:34-35) What would the church look like today if Christians really lived like that? If Christians today didn’t keep to themselves in their own individualistic bubble, but truly opened their homes, gave generously, had real friendships with outcasts, and sacrificed their belongings and time? It would probably look like the early church, where their numbers were multiplying daily because there was something different about a group that gave that generously and loved that strongly.
You may be thinking “Amen! That’s the way we should all live every day!” but when it comes to your own life? You kind of choke on that amen as you think of how it may really affect the things you love. I’ll be completely honest – as much as I care for Dupree, this summer may be really hard. I like my stuff. I don’t really want to share my bathroom, my space, my food, my time, my husband… but I’ve already seen countless prayers answered in his life and truly feel that God is going to do amazing things in Dupree’s life and ours. Maybe not huge in the way the world sees it, but if I can learn to sacrifice my time, one idol I cherish deeply, then that’s an amazing work in itself.
So I don’t share this today to tell you how awesome we are (because really, we’re not!), but I share this only to ask for prayer for Dupree during this summer and for us as we attempt to live out the gospel to him on a daily basis. (And I also share this to introduce him in case I reference him later during any future posts.:) There’s something so comforting and safe being obedient to God, even when you don’t know what the future will hold, and I’m so excited to see how He will work this summer. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the summer’s joys and challenges in the months to come. :)