I wander around my increasingly empty home and talk to myself as my words echo on plain walls. Marks are clear where pictures used to hang and empty nails remind me of faces and drawings that I love. I linger in a room and remember my son who lounged here and studied and chatted with friends and played endless hours of xbox or play station (never really knew which it was).
I touch the freshly painted walls in what was for a short time, our new guest room, vacated by another son just a few short months ago. I sigh. What a blessing to have lived here, to have laughed and cried, to have watched my sons grow into young men, to know that God refined and shaped me in these walls.
I pack a box and go downstairs for the tenth time, to get more newspaper, or the packing tape or to find just the right object to fit in the space left beside a dozen books. It is a puzzle, to get everything in so that no space is left and objects won’t bounce around.
I learned this from my father and mother, who packed, unpacked, repacked and packed again as they went from village to mission center, to USA and back again. Packing boxes, suitcases and the car were common occurrences. I laugh out loud as I remember my Mom, poised with her shoe to capture any escaping cockroaches or spiders that hitched a ride in her packed boxes.
Moving is a good discipline. It is forcing me to sort through everything and evaluate. Do I really need this? How long has it been since I used that? What to do with the accumulation of stuff? Two large plastic bags follow me to every room. One for trash, the other to give away. Then there are the miscellaneous odd furniture pieces that will go on the front lawn for free. A couple items for Craig’s list to find a good home.
But mostly, the home itself must go. And where is that buyer? That one who is willing to commit to care for these old plaster walls and hardwood floors? I pray for that person as I go from one project to another, preparing for our immanent departure.I take a moment to open the first Bible I truly studied and loved. In its pages I find a faded notebook page with the ponderings of a teenager written on it.
Lord, you did answer the longing of my teenage heart. You have been faithful. I realize that You have and are still fulfilling my dreams. Some dreams are different (I don’t know six languages—only made it to four, and some of those not very well). Some are fulfilled differently than I imagined (I don’t have a career in singing, but I live in house full of songs). And my true desire has evolved to be simply YOU! The first part of that verse is “O my people, trust him at all times.” Once again, I trust this home and my dreams to you. Amen.