Going to take a slightly different direction. Received a short story written by a follower. I believe that many of you will identify with the story and see how it ties in with some of the anxiety and stress of today. I have her permission to share it with you.
THE GIFT OF FAMILY
By Sandy Rudy
I have always been fascinated with old houses. Especially the old empty ones. In traveling either on long or short excursions when I see a rundown house surrounded by overgrowth and littered with all sorts of trash, etc. looking so deserted it makes me feel sad.
This stirs something deep down inside me. In my mind’ I imagine I can hear the voices of children laughing as they run and play through the house. I imagine I can smell the aroma of bread baking in the oven, or the sweet delicious aroma of fresh baked cookies filling the air. I can almost hear the sounds of dishes being put around the dinner table, and the mother calling to the children to wash their hands because supper will soon be ready, and their dad will be home soon
The atmosphere of love and laughter and the beautiful spirit of family bonding filled that house; but now the rooms, the house stands silent, void of life, love, and laughter. When those sounds begin to fade, I sense such a feeling of sadness, and loss. The house now stands empty, it’s very foundation crumbling, falling apart for lack of love and care of not being needed anymore. The life and the sounds of those who once lived, loved and shared this house are now gone. Everything in and around it is in shambles and disarray. I wonder where are those, who once shared this house and its memories. Do they every think about the times past of being there together as family? Do they remember the Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations shared with other family members and friends joining them on those special days?
Do they think about sitting around the dinner table together eating the delicious meals that their mother made with such love, sharing their ideas and their desires?
Do they maybe long for those precious times again? Do they ever wish they could have one more day together there in that house to love, to laugh, to play together as they used to? The houses that I see always spark these kinds of thoughts and question in my mind. I sometimes connect them to lives of people, some I know, and others just real people out in the world living empty lives.
Their lives are like these houses… in shambles and crumbling apart for lack of love and care. In many of them weeds of un-settled issues of bitterness, broken hearts, wounded spirits and un-forgiveness have grown deep in and around their heart’s foundation. They too have become just a shell and an empty structure. Where once love and happiness and just the wonderful gift of life and loved ones filled their days: they now stand along having only memories, some happy, some sad and some with regrets of what could have been.
Some feel its too late to even try to rebuild or restore because those who once made up and held the house together are forever gone. There are others who refuse to even try. Why, maybe the fear of being rejected or maybe pride. They feel justified in their minds, not being willing to admit maybe they were at fault or even partially at fault for the way things happened in the house –the family breakdown. All that is left now is the sad reality that just as these houses stand alone empty and in shambles so are the lives of many people. These thoughts and realities make me aware that I must continually check my own foundation (my house), to see if there are any weeds of pride, bitterness, unresolved issues, and the greatest destroyer of the foundation of a life growing there …un-forgiveness. I surely don’t want to end up like one of those empty houses.
Houses where no one lives anymore and no one even visits.
A house where the sound of silence screams so loudly, even louder that the one filled with voices of young and old alike, just living, loving and being family. I wonder why we so many times take for granted the blessings, the precious gift of a family, friends and even the very house we live in. You see our houses surround us with their walls, floors, ceilings, and windows…now our families do the same. Their arms are the walls around us, and they cover us in love like the ceiling with protection and they bring light into our lives just by being there just like our windows let in light. Houses are built of wood, brick and stone, etc…. but people are not. We are flesh and blood, soul and spirit, and feelings make us very vulnerable. Some are very tender and impressionable, other are stronger, but all can be easily hurt even destroyed. Jesus says in Matthew 12 :25, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. When a house falls down and eventually turns to dust and rubble, there is a sense of loss. But how much greater the sense of loss when lives crumble fall down and turn to dust and rubble and in time exist no more. This involves not only our own flesh and blood family, but the family of God as well. Our brothers and sister in Christ Jesus should not be treated with any les respect, love and compassion. Ephesians 3:14-17 says… For this because I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, rooted and grounded in love. Jesus tells us in His word in John 13:35 by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Love binds and strengthens lives, homes, and the family of God.
Dear Heavenly Father impart into us all the understanding and appreciation of the value of each precious life, each precious soul created by you to be a completion and an extension of our lives. An extension to go on of our very selves, our houses, and an extension that will forever stand with every room filled with love, life and laughter. The gift of family, in Jesus Name, Amen
So many have grown up without the type of home Sandy describes. So many had this type of home life interrupted by discourse, confusion, anger, tears, and conflict. Today we live in a world that celebrates self. I hope this gives you something to think about and to check your priorities.
If any of you would like to hear more from Sandy email us.