“Bless the four corners of this house, and be the lintel blessed; And bless the hearth and bless the board, And bless each place of rest, And bless each place of rest.”
Yesterday, we started moving our “junk” into the house. It was bittersweet. When I opened my eyes in the morning, I could feel the house considering us. It had been ripped apart, patched, and given an expensive beauty treatment and face-lift. Now it was pondering what would come next. Expectation circled as I pulled myself out of bed and made my way with dancing dogs to the feed bowls. (Yes, indeed, after saying my morning drowsy prayers, the dogs claim my first steps to their dog bowls and treats).
I could almost feel the house sigh with happiness.
My kids and hubby will tell you that our car rides were filled with fictional short stories about people, animals and/or random things we encountered along the way. I think it started with my mom and dad trying to find ways to entertain a squirmy 5 year old with no seat belt to hold her semi-still, on “long” trips to visit family on a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes it was as simple as, “I bet that tree is sorry that it lost a branch in that wind storm last night” – to stories that would last for miles as each of us added more details, emotions and personality to whatever had caught our fancy. So I guess you can see why I could “hear” the house sigh.
“And bless the door that opens wide To stranger, as to kin; And bless each crystal window pane, That lets the star light in, That lets the star light in.”
By the end of the day, I was too tired, sore and grumpy to do much of anything except fall into bed. I felt bad that I didn’t write on the second day of Lent. I felt bad that I didn’t get more done. I felt bad that it was so cold. I felt bad that every joint and muscle hurt. But – as I curled under the covers, the newly installed heat system kicked on and the house began to sing a lullaby.
This morning brought a more lazy awakening. Hubby had taken the dogs out for an early – very chilly – walk. There were no tongues licking my hands or dancing paws next to the bed. Just me, saying good morning to my Father and feeling warmth spreading around the room in welcome. Birds – a nuthatch, titmouse, sparrow, cardinal, blue-jay, woodpecker – darted in and around the bird feeder outside the bedroom window, and I smiled. A hint of whisper echoed in my ears as I sat up, “Love”.
“And bless the roof-tree over head, And every sturdy wall; The peace of Man, the peace of God, the peace of Love on all, The peace of Love on all.” Arthur Guiterman, 1871-1943/Van Denman, Thompson, 1890-1969 “United Methodist Hymnal” 1932 p 433
This afternoon, I sat down to the piano for the first time in over a month. I have missed it. Unfortunately, all my music is still packed away, and I don’t play by ear. However, El had a plan – as always. A book fell out of a box that I was moving. It was an old Methodist hymnal. Funny thing about God wink moments – nothing is a coincidence. The first page I opened the hymnal to was page 433. Hmmmmmmm…… Needless to say, the first song I played today was the hymn on page 433. smile emoticon
We are far from done. There is more junk still in the garage than is in the house. There are still many things that still need patching and re-newed. Hubby took a second big trailer of junk to the landfill. Together, we moved things. fussed at each other and fussed at each other again, and planned the master bathroom in more detail that we hoped to start soon. But underneath it all, we could hear the house say she understands and is happy just to have us here. This morning she wondered if she had become our home yet. Tonight I am telling her, “Yes, we have come to you, and you – imperfect as you are – we chose you to be our home.”
On this third day of Lent, I pick up another stone and place it in my bowl. Home. Home – here on earth. Home – in the arms of family. Home – to those that are entrusted to our sphere of care. Home – as imperfect as we are – in the heart of a Father who sent His Son – to choose to make His Home with us. Our house has become our Home —- our Temple.
“As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel”~1 Kgs 6:12–13