My goodness where did this summer go?
Are you excited about fall? A schedule? Pumpkin anything?I’m getting ahead of myself.
This summer, between ministry travel and having all 5 grandkids here with us for three weeks, we’ve been taking things off the walls and painting, cleaning and sorting.
And there’s still much more to do.
But it’s become physical picture of a spiritual truth to me.The house itself is good, it’s built on a sturdy foundation.
I think of that verse in John 15 where Jesus was teaching on abiding in his last intimate encounter with his disciples.
Yet the pruning never stops.
The rooms in my house are cluttered and dingy, in need of some straightening and sprucing up.
Stay in and clean and purge.
It’s as if the Father is saying to me, “I’ve given you this home as a refuge; a place to grow in my love. It has sheltered you, your children, and now your grandchildren. It’s a safe space to welcome friends, new and old. Take time to freshen this sacred place.”
It’s not a quick process. My daughter’s old room has become the “holding room” for all things moved off and away until further assignment determined, be that in another place in this house or Goodwill.
(update: it was Goodwill)
There’s a gallery of pictures in our kitchen. Well, there has been for the last 8 or 10 years. They are all black and white photos of our family – children, with their spouses, and their children. In the center is a photo of Joe and I. And above the collage are the stenciled words “Home – the place your story begins.” It was a labor of love to get those pictures arranged and hung. My youngest son Jesse, a teenager at the time, helped me organize and arrange them on the floor first, before we hung them on the wall. And I have loved looking at the visual story of our family every day. It has been a reminder, an altar of thanksgiving to God’s faithfulness and goodness.
When I took down the pictures to prepare for the painters, tears welled up and I felt a little stab to my heart. Peeling off those hallowed words brought sorrow, mixed with joy and gratitude.
Will I put those same pictures up in the same way on the newly painted wall?
Will I ever find that exact saying again?
Now I’m staring at this clean, freshly painted, naked wall.
What is our story now Lord?
Home is where our story begins – but where does it go from there?
There are parts of our heart, our family, our story, our people, in those pictures that aren’t here with us anymore.
The story of our family has been changed forever.
God’s penmanship, though difficult to understand at times, is still the faithful guarantee for the best, most glorious story. For all of us.
I trust the scarlet thread woven throughout our story, which is His story.
I let Him write on.
Because He is good and He is love.
And if home is where it all begins, then Home is where it ends, or really begins.
And there will be more pictures of more people in our story.
And these walls will tell of it.
Tell me where you’ve been this summer. I’d love to hear more of your story.
My walls are talking to me 🙂