Tuesday, January 2, 2018

faith is taking God at His Word

The Word for today:
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
mark these:
For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Our house is an old farmhouse that somebody, along the way, reconfigured into a double by carving two small apartments out of a medium sized house.
When we first moved in, we rented out "the other side." But as the boys got bigger and bigger, our side got smaller and smaller, so we stopped renting in order to reclaim the space.
Since then, I have spent almost all my free time in the little kitchen over there. I read a lot of books there, listened to a lot of rock and roll there, and drank a lot of beer there. I know I'm supposed to say something holy here, but I won't. I loved those days--every book, every song, and every beer.
But then I ran into Jesus, and things started to change. Priorities got reshuffled, and as they did, my little kitchen transformed, too.
The big old speakers we used to favor in the old days were moved out in order to squeeze in another bookcase and a printer and a scanner. The books on those shelves turned into Bibles. You'll still find a beer in the back of the bottom shelf, but the cashiers at the beer store no longer know me by name.
As the boys went through school, those walls reflected their changes, too. It began when I tacked up a few pictures they'd drawn in school, and a construction-paper snowman or two. Soon their Little League schedules appeared there, and some ribbons they'd won in grade-school races.
It wasn't long before I ran out of walls. So, not able to bear taking any of it down, I just tacked and taped the new things over what was already there. Then the next year I taped and tacked over those.
But when the legs of my chair wore right through the old linoleum layers beneath them, it was time to lay new flooring.
So today we moved all the bookcases out and the table and the refrigerator. Then, as Shelley was sweeping up all the gunk that had accumulated behind the fridge, I startled her when I went to the wall and took a little picture down, then a faded construction-paper star, then a junior high basketball schedule…
Over Christmas we went to Pittsburgh to visit Shelley's sister Jennifer, her husband Chris, and their three boys (all in grade school). Before then, I had been aware of digital picture frames, but had never really seen one in use.
But Jennifer had managed to put her version of my kitchen/office wall inside a digital picture frame! The frame displayed picture after picture after picture--and none of them were faded, taped, tacked, or covered over with other pictures.
"What are you doing?"
Shelley had wanted to take them down, because they had long ago become a real fire hazard.
"I'm going to put them all in a digital frame and display them all day, every day, forever!"
It took a long time to take them down. We placed them carefully in a big box to be digitally photographed later. It will be a big project, but I'm glad I found a way to save and savor them.
Out of it all, we left only one piece on the wall. Some Sunday school teacher (we're not sure who) had one of the boys (were not sure which) make a little card that said this:
Faith is believing the Word of Godand acting upon it, no matter how I feel,because God promises a good result.
If that's all their boyhood brought them, and all that school taught them, I would consider their youth well spent, and their education second to none.
So when the room is re-floored and the walls repainted and our sons ask where it all went, I'm going to tell them it's all being digitized so that what was underneath can be seen once again.
Then I'm going to point to the only thing that will remain.

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