Something my wife and I have become fond of is acquiring something that's old, beat up, run down, thrown out, and unwanted and making it new, restored, refreshed, transformed, and reimagined. The last two homes we've purchased (the only two homes we've purchased for that matter) were houses that needed moderate to significant cosmetic changes. It's been my experience that most people tend to run from these kinds of projects unless renovating is their profession, but not us. We’ve come to learn that the best way to truly make a house a home, a space that’s both meaningful and comfortable, is to put in the labor - the blood, sweat, and tears - to transform that space.
On Friday, March 9th, I signed a lease on behalf of Simplicity for our church to begin occupying a 3,000 sqft warehouse event space at 8100 N Classen Blvd, Suite 112. As you can see from the picture above, this space leaves much to be desired from a strictly cosmetic point of view. The floors are disgusting, the walls are appalling, the lighting is dismal, and the build-outs are an absolute travesty - in other words, IT’S ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! You see, beneath the dust and the grime and the dirt and debris is an absolute gem of a space; a diamond in the rough.
What really drew me to this space (other than the fact that it's about $4 per sqft below market value! Thus giving us room to breathe and invest in service projects, ministry programming, and meaningful outreach initiatives rather than simply dumping all our money into a building) is that it’s perfectly ordinary. This space has been mistreated and disregarded. It’s broken and in shambles. But do we not all go through seasons? Do we not all fall on hard times?
This feels like the exact kind of space that Jesus would be drawn to.
It’s unpretentious and unassuming. If its walls could talk they’d be crying out, “I’m lost and ashamed!” It’s waiting to be poured into. It’s the tax collector and the leper, the weak and the poor. It’s a reflection of the human condition; a work in progress. And we get to be a part of the creative process!
Ultimately, even after the renovations are “complete” (are we ever really complete?), this will be a perfectly ordinary space. It won’t have an ornate sanctuary with cathedral architecture or stained glass windows, nor will it have arched ceilings or hand carved pews. It will be beautiful, but in an ordinary kind of way; you know, the kind of “ordinary” through which God performs miracles.
How humbling an experience it’s going to be to revive this space; to be a part of and bear witness to its resurrection.