Make Room

“Make room . . .”

Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one; we have ruined no one, nor tried to take advantage of anyone.” (II Corinthians 7:2)

About three weeks ago I reached my hand into the newspaper box and extracted the newspaper.  As I did, a bunch of leaves and moss slid off the paper and fell to the ground.  At first I thought, “That’s funny.  Why did all of that debris blow into the newspaper box today?  It’s never happened before this.”  Then I had one of those “Well, duh,” moments and realized a bird had been trying to build a nest on top of the morning newspaper.  I was a little sad that I had destroyed it’s efforts and hoped the bird might try again.  For the next two weeks, nothing happened – just a box with a newspaper each day.  Then about a week ago, I leaned over to check the box and discovered that the bird had decided to give me a second chance.  There was another small mound of debris on top of the newspaper.  This time I decided to become the bird’s landlord.  However, it did present a certain inconvenience.  The only thing I could figure to do that might accommodate the bird was to post a sign and hope the newspaper carrier would go along.  We had to either make room for our uninvited visitors or send them away.

The newspaper carrier went along with my request so for about a week we’ve watched daily as the nest has grown to the state you see in the photos.  I had yet to see the newspaper box squatter until yesterday morning.  As I approached the mailbox on the same pole as the newspaper box to retrieve my newspaper, the bird startled me as it flew from the nest.  I think we might be “expecting” very soon.  I have a feeling this will become a neighborhood project because the nest is right there for all to watch.

Sometimes it’s easy to invite someone into our lives.  They easily slip in and just seem to belong.  They comfortably fit with our expectations for a friend, colleague, partner, fellow church member, etc.  Then there are others who don’t necessarily become part of our lives but our encounters with them move easily.  Their needs are what we’d consider to be realistic and convenient for us to address.  Other times it seems like we have to work hard to make room for someone.  They rub us the wrong way.  They step on our toes.  They expect things we don’t really want to give.  They don’t share the same values.  They don’t share the same political persuasion.  They don’t give us what we want.  They smell funny.  They look different.  They act differently.  They don’t follow our rules or protocol.  They have inconvenient needs.  They make us feel uncomfortable.  They annoy us.  They _______________________ . 

Apparently there had been conflict in the church at Corinth when Paul wrote the letter we know as II Corinthians.  Some of the members had criticized and attacked Paul.  By the time Paul got around to writing the letter it seems as though the conflict had been resolved, but he must have known that healing the relationships would take concentrated effort.  That’s probably why he said, “Make room for us in your hearts.”  Sometimes loving is easy, but many times loving means we have to make room by moving around or getting rid of a lot of guilt, hurt, anger, fear, misunderstanding, annoyance, and prejudice.  I hope God will remind me to make room when I hear myself mutter, “but they’re ____________ .  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

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~ by revgenelson on May 7, 2014.

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