630 square feet of love

Perspective is everything. I used to think my home in America was big from my European mindset but over the years my home started to feel smaller and smaller as the other homes I visited seemed to get bigger.  I absolutely adore our home even with the 12 year old stained carpet and the crayon drawings on nearly every wall but I thought it was modest in size. Not insufficient or inadequate but definitely one of the smaller houses I'd been in lately. Yesterday, however, my reality was jolted in a good way. My family and I made a trip with friends to the Compassion Global Ministry Center and took a tour. It was an incredible experience and one that I strongly recommend doing. Part of the tour involved the kids getting inside a replica home, 75 square feet in size, like the abode of families in many parts of the world. I saw it but it didn't really impact me as much as it should have. It was too different from my experience, I couldn't get my head around a dwelling that small - the disparity between their lives and mine, sadly, too great.
Later in the day our friends invited us to dinner and I stepped into their beautiful home. I can honestly say that I felt more at home in their small cabin in the foothills than I have felt in a long time. I loved it and I love the owners. Their home measures 630 square foot - less than half the size of my house. It was welcoming, comfortable, full of love and peace. These friends brought us into their lives. I wasn't given a "show home" experience where I see the beautiful outside with no knowledge of what lays beyond that, they gave us the gift of them. It was poignant because I don't often feel that. These people are very intelligent, good-looking - attractive in many, many ways but it wasn't those external things that attracted me, it was the enduring, eternal qualities of kindness, patience and gentleness that I saw them display to their children; it was the life they had chosen - a life of giving to others, of valuing people more than possessions, of giving their lives to Someone greater. It was beautiful - they are beautiful. Their home reflected so much about them and their choices. A powerful picture. This was the stepping stone I needed to adjust my warped view of the required size of a home. 630 square feet - enough room to welcome guests, live with your husband, 2 boys and 2 dogs. It is perfect and it is enough. 1300 square feet - the size of my home. It is big. So big that the kids always stay in the same room with me anyway because they feel "lost" if I am on the other side of the house. So big that we fill it with stuff we never use. 75 square feet - desperately too small. The disparity is too great. Rich and poor are so far separated to the extent that we can barely even comprehend the poverty that some precious people live in because it is too distant from our experience. I prayed this morning that I could learn how to live in 630 square feet and that it would be 630 square feet of love.

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