January 13, 2013


As we readied to leave for church this morning, I overheard a conversation between my grandparents in the room next to mine. This in itself is quite normal: as both of them spend most of their time in the home together, they do tend to have a sort of running dialog going. But what I heard this morning caught my ear. A simple exclamation by my grandmother of “You are so handsome!” I couldn’t resist teasing them a bit, then, calling out, “Hey, you two lovebirds, you do realize there’s someone else in the house now, don’t you?”
Yes, there is someone else in the house: I have the luxury of time to spend with my family right now—time off from my usual workdays, and time away from my usual home. Time to spend in the home where I processed the first great pain of my young life. Time to be with those who were my mother and father when my own were not able to be.
In this morning’s sermon, the pastor’s them was that the love of God begins in the home.
Now I am working through a list of chores. Somehow I find it immensely more difficult to clean for someone else than to clean a place of my own. I stress over getting it just right, I suppose, when in my own space I just figure out a system that works for me and I run with it. So now I agonize about proper methods of sweeping cobwebs out of corners in the ceiling, and I muse about the ins and outs of family life.
Is sweeping cobwebs in a family home less significant work than sweeping scar tissue on a bomb-ravaged child? When the work is done in love, I suspect the answer is no. It may take some self-talk, for sure, to convince oneself of that truth, but it is truth nonetheless. So in this moment, on this day, may I clean commodes and scrub sinks with a spirit of contentment.
This afternoon I took a detour on the way home from church, passing by one of my favorite spots when I was in high school. The rain was falling steadily by the time I arrived, but I carried on with my intended mission nonetheless. I needed a photo of the sculpture garden. More specifically, I needed a photo of this sculpture. So in spite the rain drenching me, and threatening my camera, here is “The prodigal.”

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