If you follow my blog you’ll know that we have moved our InFaith Home Office this week. For almost the last fifty years, we’ve been located in a huge mansion in Villanova. It was massive: 14,000 sq. ft. not counting a 6,000 sq. ft. basement. But we filled it with furniture and the lives of the people on our staff. We filled it with memories: with dinners and lunches and planning sessions. So the building had heart and soul: it was us.
But I just walked through the totally empty building. There are no desks. There are no people or photographs on the wall. It’s silent. It’s quiet and I feel like the building has lost its heart. It’s lost its soul; it’s no longer home to anybody. It’s a shell. It doesn’t feel very good. It’s kind of sad. It’s just a shell because what makes a building home is people. We’ve taken our heart and our soul and transported it twenty-three miles west into a really cool office space. But that too was just a shell until last Monday arrived and all our people showed up. In the noise of work, the laughter of people interacting with each other, the cafe, the conference room all became alive because people were there.
Relationships are huge. They’re mighty and they’re important. I would suggest that the lesson of the old building in Villanova makes me want even more to have relationships in my life that are filled with the noise of people, the laughter of relationships, with journeying together in life. We need to remember that what makes life what it is is not our stuff or our environment – it’s what we bring to the environment. Who we are brings life and heart and soul to any space.