From the Mouths of Babes….or young lads who challenge the home or hospitality mentality.
The curtain rod fell down on my head as I balanced on a stool for the tenth time that day, all with hyperactive children running all around me a few feet below. I half caught it and then slammed it down on the stack of boxes below.
“I can’t get anything done around here! I can’t even get curtains hung!”
Danny tries to calm me.
“Honey, its OK. It will come together eventually. ”
“But I’m so tired of not being settled! I just want everything in its place and I want our house to be done!”
Danny could have talked til he was blue in the face, but it was my son’s words that penetrated.
“Mom, nobody in our neighborhood even has curtains. Why do we need them? Right now we’re just like everybody else.”
Oh, how his words sunk in. put this nesting mamma in her place. put priorities in order.
What does it really look like to come from a “different culture” but choose to become one with the culture we have moved into? What does it look like to to truly become incarnational in this context? Right here in America, where I can drive 15 minutes to a friends house and see beautiful tapestries hung and in place?
Maybe it means prioritizing people above the picturesque home I desire.
Maybe it means enjoying children more than enjoying neatness and order.
Maybe it means welcoming neighbors into a home that still has boxes stacked in the corners and walls still to be painted, simply because today I choose people over projects, the “to BE” list, rather than the “to-DO list”.
I don’t completely forsake the chipping away at household projects, or the desire to create beauty, order and grace in a home. For now, the slowness of the process can be embraced as a needed process of soul sanctification, neighbor identification, and it becomes far bigger than just my home transformation.
After all, maybe Liddell, who lives in a home with a blue tarp roof,
would feel far more welcomed into a home that is also making good use of large blue tarps
Every neighbor in this area lives in a home that needs work done on it, and despite my desire to “just be done” with house projects, being in this state of process might be the very thing that unites us instead of divides us from our neighbors. Those walls needing paint, and that unlandscaped yard, and that pile of building supplies, might be the very thing that keeps the “us and them” mentality at bay…the very “us and them” mentality that left this neighborhood so forsaken those years ago.
So maybe with a death of my desire,
a desire that feels so natural and justified to me,
actually creates a void
in which new life can emerge,
the life of a neighborhood connection,
that creates a platform for
Which in the end, is far more important, far more eternal, than curtains being hung.
All I can think of, Kimberly, is Mary and Martha. You, like Mary, have chosen what is better (even with the angst it might have caused :-). Your Mom also lived out what these Bible verses attempt to teach us. I am still trying to learn it…..