Forty years ago we moved into our log cabin on Lake Pagosa. Thirty-two years ago construction began on the Upper Room. Many helping hands made a dream tangible. Thirty years ago we received our first guest. Most of the guests were a total joy, but a few made us wonder if "hospitality" was to be our calling from God. One time we had to call the police to deal with a guest. Another time a guest slipped out the door after nearly burning the house down. A few guests brought someone we did not invite. One guest acted so loud and bizarre that Rebekah locked herself in the bathroom while I was beseeching heaven for help. Would we do this again? – yes, in a heart-beat. God continues to give us His love for people, especially those who need a safe place to hide to sort out their life and find their purpose. Helping visitors feel at home and safe as they walk through the front door is our priority.
Although we may be momentarily discouraged, frightened, angry and confused, we have kept on opening our home to strangers and friends. We have viewed every guest as our teacher. Some have become like family. Some asked if they could call us Mom and Dad, grandma or grandpa. We have summed up what we learned in our Fall 1999 newsletter, but have learned even more since then. You can read it by clicking on this link: TO LOVE A STRANGER. By the way, the Upper Room is more than a plain room above our garage. It is a thousand square feet of love and luxury with its own entrance.
In time we learned to be more discerning about who was to come, when and how long they should stay. There is one ground rule a few have ignored – they brought their smart phones and electronic devices. These devices have kept them in touch with the world thereby trying to double date with Jesus and the world at the same time. That never works. A few people saw the guest apartment as their launching pad to go skiing, fishing or hiking; but most came for the right reason – to hear that still small voice of God for themselves while feasting their eyes on the beauty of Lake Pagosa, the mountains, sunrises and sunsets.
Recently I was reminded of a book that helped give birth to the Upper Room. Here is a copy of the first paragraph of our invitation:
In the heart of God was a thought that was so beautifully expressed through the pen of Taylor Caldwell in the novel The Listener. This novel became a blueprint – gently, but firmly impressed upon Peter’s and Rebekah’s hearts. One day, to their amazement and great joy, God gave birth to the story and created The Upper Room, the Listening Chamber, and Rocking Chair of God’s Heart.
We whisper this invitation into the wind to be picked up by the gentle currents of the Holy Spirit. May those who are exhausted, drained, fragile, weary and wounded find their way to the door of "The Upper Room" and enter into God’s rest and renewal. It is a place where the strong can be weak and the weak can become strong.
"The Listener” is waiting for you in The Upper Room.
Please do your soul a favor and read The Listener. One reading is generally not enough. We have copied the first of fifteen stories and made it a part of the Invitation to the Upper Room. We also have a copy on the bookshelf in the Upper Room. Scroll to the end of the invitation and you will be able to click on the link.
Happy reading and come and see us.
Peter and Rebekah