Tuesday, April 13, 2010
"Look at all those houses! They're all empty ... wow, some of the windows are broken in." I turned my head to look as close as possible while we drove past. Some type of sign or notice was posted on each door. All I could make out from the roadside ... Condemned.
"Probably has something to do with the flooding." My husband turned and looked at all the houses on the other side of the highway.
House after house ... home after home ... empty. Condemned.
My husband was most likely right. Several years ago, there was massive flooding in that area. The highway was covered in water and the houses on either side of the road sat in 3 feet of water. Weeks passed before the water began to diminish. At the time, everyone wondered what would become of those homes. Now, it seems the answer was ... they were deemed unfit to live in. Unfit to call home by families. Unfit to serve as a safe place to land at the end of a long work day.
We drove past those houses again last week. The windows were black holes into empty shells. The outside of each was unkempt and looked worn from the longer than desired winter. They lacked all evidence of life ... the things that tell you a home is taken, claimed. No bikes tossed at the garage door, no flowers poking up from pots on the porch ... no lights shining from inside and piercing the dusk.
At what point does one determine a home beyond repair, unfit to live in?
As we drove further, I thought about the families forced to leave the place they called home. I thought about the memories and safety each might have felt in the now vacant shells. I know how much I love my home ... how much did it hurt them to walk away? To leave a place they had worked hard to make safe, loving and comfortable? And then, I thought about the condition of my heart ... the home I've asked Christ to live in.
How often do I behave "unChristian"? How many times do I sin and cause damage to the shelter Christ calls home? Do I let the storms of this life, this earth alter the place I reserve for my Family? And, how much must it hurt Him to be removed ... removed because He cannot reside in a home tarnished with sin?
And ... how often does He repair the damage caused by my choices, caused by storms on this earth? There is never a point when He claims my heart or any other heart ... beyond repair... worthless or unfit to live in. Each heart, each life ... He sees the value ... a vision of that heart without sin. All that is required of me is to ask ... ask Him to take away the sin.
He puts His light in the windows of my soul and chases away the darkness left by floods of hurt and sin. He leaves evidence of a home claimed by Family.
How is the condition of your heart? Have you asked Him to take down the sign of condemnation?
Psalm 34:22 "The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him."
Romans 3:23-24 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."