sticks and bricks

6 10 2009

Chase & excavator

Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

Today the house across the street was demolished.  Apparently there is a leak in and old oil pipe 18′ underground that has to be excavated.  The home belonged to a gentleman who passed away almost two years ago (before we moved to the neighbourhood) and has been vacant since.  I saw the late gentleman’s daughter at the site later on this afternoon, taking pictures and collecting a brick as a momento.  I don’t know her, but I went over to ask if she was OK.  She said, “No,” and was visibly upset.  I felt very sad for her.  I don’t know if she grew up in the house, but it was obvious that the memory of her father was vivid today.

I have been explaining to C1 today why they tore down this house (naturally, the boys are excited about all of the activity across the street).  But, as I was reflecting throughout the day, I came to the realization that the essence of this house was merely sticks and bricks.  Materials that took umpteen man-hours to meticulously construct buckled like toothpicks in a matter of hours at the “hand” of the excavator’s powerful claw (the operator of this machine was really amazing!).

The houses (note I said houses, not homes) that we live in provide shelter – a place to stay warm and dry out of the elements.  A place to cook meals, a place to sleep.  True enough, many of our memories are made right here in our homes – it is a stage for family times, holiday times, intimate times, milestones.  But, what is at the forefront of the memories are our relationships.  I looked at my boys today and, with thanksgiving, realized that no matter what type of building we live in or occupy, even if it’s a tent) – they are soft, warm, loving, giving, dynamic, active, live little boys.  They are the true gifts from God, the Builder – the essence of my life.

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One response

7 10 2009
Rozita

So, allow me to be extremely cliche and say that the old saying of “home is where the heart is” rings true everytime. You talk about memories being built and relationships established in these essentially 4 walls that make up a house, but I’d venture to say that not all relationships are strengthened and not all memories are positive. I lived in many houses growing up, and afterwards on my own; but nothing felt like home until I made my own family with my guys! I guess what I’m trying to say is, I agree with you, whether we live in a tent or a mansion, as long as we have true love in our hearts (for God and those we love most), nothing else REALLY matters. Thanks!

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