This semester, I am taking a required course called “Gender and Social Change.” We talk a lot of Feminism and Women’s Studies. But we also talk a lot about equality and privilege. Privilege isn’t something I’ve even spent a lot of time thinking about before, but with my position in society as a white, middle class person, there are certain “privileges” that I have. My eyes have been opened just a little bit wider to see the things our culture and society calls “normal.” And how I actually fit into most of that. I graduated high school. I moved out and went straight to college. I have gracious parents who are willing to help me through college so I don’t have tens of thousands of dollars in debt when I graduate. I didn’t have to have a job my first year of college. I now get to live in a house with my own room. I have the means to live a comfortable lifestyle.
I was walking through a neighborhood yesterday and just admiring all the cute little houses and I came to one with a “for rent/rent to own” sign in the front job. Just kind of in passing, I began thinking about how I’m not all that far from being at a place to buy a house and settle down and get married. And just to clarify, this wasn’t me being discontent with the season I’m in. This was just me thinking vaguely about my future. Then something hit me and the Holy Spirit asked me, “What if you never own a house?” And from there my mind just kept going, asking me questions about “what if I never” do things that are norms in our society. What if I never buy another car? What if I never get married? What if I never settle into one town again once I graduate? What if I never…what if I never….
Why are these thoughts so strange and hard to swallow? Why do I feel entitled to certain life experiences like buying a house and getting married? I said I’d follow Jesus. I didn’t say I’d follow Jesus *cough* if He gives me a house and a husband and a job *cough*. And if you’ve said you’ll follow Jesus, that’s what you said too. Count the cost before you say you’ll follow Him because it could and very likely will cost you at least one of these things and probably many others. I’m not promised possessions or even relationships here on earth. I’m not promised comfort because I follow Jesus and you’re not either.
These, however, are things we are promised. And to these promises, I will cling:
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
(^funny how we usually skip the first part of that verse…)
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10
This is my Granny’s old house. A home where I was loved and cherished and a home that brought people together. This is what my home will be. Even if it’s not a house. Even if I don’t own it. Even if it’s a tent under the stars, it will be a place where people are loved and cared for. It will bring people together.