Sunday, August 6, 2017

House Sounds

A house spoke to me last night.
At first I thought that it was the smell of the summer night or the cicada serenading, that brought me to such a receptive state that is needed when listening to the sounds of life.

We are vaguely familiar, this house and I,  but yet she wanted to share with me.
It seemed she had so much to say and needed to spill it all out to me because she knew I was interested.

So many things she shared with the lifts of excitement and heaviness of grief.  Childhood giddiness  and elderly woes- it all came out...

This house will celebrate it's fortieth year this summer.  I clearly remember it being built and the excitement of watching it unfold as each crossbeam structure lifted into place and rooms became clear.  I remember Move In day and all the joyous chaos that it brought. But there was so much more that the house had to recount.

The House stated that many children tromped up and down the stairs.  Sometimes the cry of a newborn in the night made the house sigh but how she enjoyed the giggles. She told of merry holidays and the aroma of many menus.  The House wondered at her strength when groups of people would gather, warmed by her hearth and welcomed by tables laden with food.  There were so many words spoken, much laughter and the inevitable tears when a family of seven dwell together.

This night, the House wanted to share it's heart.  She gave me a glimpse of every day life, some of which I was familiar.  I do remember when babies came home from the hospital to this home.  I do remember family gatherings.  I do remember remodels and updates.  The normal stuff of life this house, this night, she let me feel.

But then, she reminded me of the Sad Day.  She spoke of the time when grieving came in torrents and silence.  When the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and unalterable change, came to her.  The horrible day when the house stopped it's normal function and it paused as it's family, as it knew and loved and protected, would be forever changed as it's owner left this earth to his eternal house.

That day had a profound affect on the house and all who entered it in the days and weeks and now years to come. No amount of tears seemed to compensate the loss.  The weeping and pacing and comforting absorbed into the very wood of the home and remains to this very day.

But the House wanted to remind me to keep remembering the joys that made up the majority of the forty years that the house let them call her home.  She told me clearly that so much life took place within her walls, that it was hardly fair to draw such attention to the Sad Day.  Still, she needed to speak of it, needed to make sure we knew how much it took out of her and those she called family.  She wanted me to feel the void.

So, I laid in a bedroom of some child, teenager, young adult, who dwelt there for years, reflecting the sounds, smells, sights of a house well lived in and viewed, ever so briefly, the silent days when grief was born at the speaking of a single word: Cancer.

I drifted off to a dream filled sleep, accompanied by the history of the house and it's story, the sounds of summer and the comfort of family.

Bless and keep all of us as we expose our homes and our hearts to this thing called life...



Friday, January 27, 2017

P31 March for Humility


 



I have a thought.

I am going to start a Virtual March for Humility; Proverbs 31 Style.
What with all the marching that's been going on of late, I believe I can get my idea to fit in nicely.

There will be no traveling, no hotel reservations or for that matter, you might as well stay in your jammies.  Agoraphobics will not be excluded since they can accomplish this march in the safety of their own home.  In fact, everyone, from sexual orientation, race, gender and political leanings can join in.  No hats required either.


Here's what's involved:

We shall take all the biblical admonitions regarding womanhood, all the downright practicalities of Proverbs 31, and march it right into our hearts and see what we can do with it in our day to day.  See what we can do to accomplish a life modeled on peace, confidence, strength, humility, respect, hard work and family care.

Let us assume that you have read and maybe reread Proverbs 31.  It's the last Proverb in that particular book.  Saving the best for last, let us say.  Before you sign on to the P31 March for Humility, let me zip through some of the principles that we will march in our hearts for:

Verse one shows us that a king's mother taught him about women and which ones could be detrimental to his reign.
Verse two through seven, lets us know that to get drunk might get you in trouble with the press.  Keep the heavy stuff for those that really need consoling, like the dying.

Verses six through nine has been a driving force in much of my ministry and just in general moral living:  Speak for those that can't.  Take care of the poor and helpless.  Plead justice for all.

Ten through the end gives us some guidelines for being a wife and mother.  In general, womanhood.
What can we learn from these verses?
This:

A great wife is more valuable than anything else.  Beyond riches.
If she is trustworthy, she will enrich others.
She will bring others no harm in any way.  Always.
She's busy.
She works hard and long.
She owns a business and runs it with dedication.
She has helpers and treats them well.
She invests and reaps the rewards of that.
With her talents, she helps care for the needs of others.
She is no dowdy chick.  She dresses well.
She is respectable and makes sure that her husband is respected by her actions.
She sells things she makes.
She is fearless.
She is confident.
People listen to her because she has a proven record of wisdom and kindness.
She makes sure the cat is fed and the dog is up to date on his shots.
She knows when it's her turn to speak at her children's class and when to make cookies for the Christmas party.
Without prompting, her kids and husband, sing her praises.  They really like her.
She will grow old gracefully and will not embarrass her family by not.
At her funeral, the lines will be long and their will be many testimonies of her amazingness

Not too much to ask, right?
Simple.  Be kind.  Treat others like you want to be treated.  Know we will have differences and get over it.  Pray for others in so doing, you keep from getting overly consumed with your own concerns.
Be respectful to everyone, including yourself.

Can your heart and spirit march to the rhythm of the good sense mentioned in this dear chapter of this Great Book?  If so, then do this.  Watch how you respond to the next controversial thing that pops up in your news feed. Heck, for some of you, this post could be a pot stirrer. How does it make you feel?  How does it make you want to react?  Search out our hero, Proverbs 31 Woman, and see how this lady would respond.  Chances are, if you wish to emulate this well respected woman, you might reflect just a bit longer, sieve your thoughts another moment and speak as if your daughter was hanging on to every word.  Because she is.

We have a very brief time on this earth, relatively speaking.  Let's make it kindly count in our little square.



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