Why blueporch?… part 1


Maryanne and I own a house built in 1966. We love our older home. It is simple, open and us.

Over the last 8 years we have slowly made it our own by redoing each part of the house bit by bit as we could afford it. Two years ago we made our biggest change. Our outside porch was 42 years old and the support beams were rotting. It was becoming a safety hazard; it was time for a new porch. The city had planned to widen the road in front of our home and acquired a 3 foot strip of land from us. We now had the resources to put towards a new porch as a result.

I spent many hours on a trip home (12 hour drive) recreating that space in my mind. When I arrived home I drew out my ideas and together with Maryanne we redesigned the porch. When it was built it was done in a beautiful cedar, with an arbor held up by 6 inch cedar posts. The porch is our favorite place and the most spacious and welcoming place. The porch added significant appeal and value to our home. However, we don’t measure its importance to us in dollars and cents. We measure its value to us in the enjoyment we and others receive from it. We measure its significance by knowing we have created a place for conversation, an intermediary space to welcome others.

We value relationship and hospitality and our home facilitates our value.

The place of a porch is often missing in our spiritual lives. The porch is that place where we are not in and we are not out. We are somewhere in-between. It is outside but connected to the inside. I suppose our culture’s porch is the coffee shop. A place for connection and conversation. A place to talk about real things in a neutral setting, the in-between space. Many Christians have limited porch space in their spiritual lives. They have their church life and Christian community and then their family life and space.

Intermediary space, space for sojourners is limited in our lives. Quite odd really.

We often give little space to connect to people that are neither in or out, sojourners as Hugh Halter calls them. Why is that I wonder? I look at the life of Jesus, who was called a friend of sinners, and would conclude his life was all about the porch. He spent a bit of his time in the Synagogue, a bit more time with his disciples and a lot of time in the intermediary space. He had a big porch and it appears that was constantly shocking the religious people.

They wanted him to come inside but he stayed on the porch. May it be true of us.

Why the blueporch then? When you think of a porch you think of inclusion and that in-between space. When you see our planet you can’t help but see how blue it is, can you? We often call ourselves the blue planet. Nothing is more inclusive than saying the whole planet. Doesn’t the words to the old song say…” He has the whole world in his hands.” When you put it together you get the blueporch.

Maryanne and I made the porch the largest part of our home and put much resource and energy into it because that is the space we value most in our lives. I think Jesus puts a lot of energy into his porch too. Where are the porches in your life?

Todd Rutkowski

~ by blueporch on April 30, 2010.

One Response to “Why blueporch?… part 1”

  1. Great analogy! I believe that is the same idea as ‘third spaces”. Spaces where people connect with each other in neutral zones. I believe this is where the collision of the Kingdom can be so powerful.

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