If Only These Walls Could Talk….
This past week I experienced a very bitter-sweet event. I went to say goodbye to a place that had always been my “safe-haven”. When I was a kid, my home would not have been considered a safe place, even on a good day. I never really knew what it was like to feel emotionally, or physically safe until I got to spend time at what became my precious “safe-haven”. My “safe-haven” was at my Aunt and Uncle’s home. Growing up, when my parents would go out of town or when, for some other reason, I got to stay at my Aunt and Uncle’s home, I was in Hog Heaven! Though their house, with five kids of their own, was always loud and full of activity, it was still peaceful! It was there that I would hear my Uncle say, shaking his head, with a big smile on his face, “Joanie, Joanie, Joanie”; and it was there my Aunt would try to feed me until her good ‘ol country cookin’ was coming out of my eyeballs. But most importantly, it was there that I first heard the words, “Joanie, Jesus loves you”. It was there that when I would cuss, my cousins would remind me, “Joanie, Jesus doesn’t like that”. (Though I would laugh and shake my head, in reality, it did make me think.) It was also there that I felt one hundred percent safe; completely loved; totally accepted; and peaceful enough to be able to put my head on a pillow and just sleep.
My Aunt and Uncle are up in age now. They are selling the family home and moving into an environment that is more suitable to meet their needs. So, though I am now in my sixties, I wanted to spend one more night at my “safe haven”. Every room held memories. I thought about ALL the love; ALL the life lessons: ALL the “Jesus” I experienced in that house. And one last thing: All the “never give up” on anybody attitude that I saw there. I didn’t accept Christ as a child, and they saw me headed down a very dark road. The answer: PRAYER! Their stance: NEVER give up! The love: Unconditional! As I visited with my Aunt and Uncle, I kept it light, but the little kid inside didn’t want to let go… And then I had a thought… “Lord, now it’s my turn! Let me be that “safe haven” for anyone you send my way. May I be that safe place, leading little “Joanies” to you; no matter where I am at, let the light of your love shine bright.”
Though I will always remember that house… what I will remember the most is the love within its walls. You see, if that house could talk, it would tell you stories of an imperfect man and woman who gave their all to their family; who shared Christ’s love with those God brought into their lives; and who made a house a home – a home in the truest since of the word. May we all be sensitive to Christ leadings… May we be those who ask Him everyday to be used to share His love … Be those who are quick to share His love: first in our homes; then in our communities; and even to the uttermost parts of the earth!