3 MAY 2021
LEAVIN' THIS OLD HOUSE
My wife and I have spent this week in Alabama, cleaning out my brother-in-law's house. He is in hospital and, as he can no longer care for himself, will be moving to a long-term care facility. This sort of activity usually occurs after someone passes. But in this instance, it is in prepara-tion for his passing. And he is admittedly "ready to go", although God will have the final word as to the timing.
It is sobering to be stuffing trash bags with a loved one's lifetime of accumulated "stuff". Friends who have cared for him in recent years are coming later today to select items they might like to have. We have our vehicle loaded with other treasures that will return home with us. The rest will go to charity or the trash dump. It is sobering indeed!
Stored in two very old "lawyer's bookcases" is a large collection of antique books that we went through last evening. Hiding among the collection was a six-volume set of Tennyson's poems that was published in the late 1800's. The first poem my wife came across as she randomly opened Volume 1 simply leaped off the page. It speaks of an old house that has served its purpose, needs a huge amount of maintenance, and will in due course be torn down and forgotten. This poem could have been written with us in mind!
Kenneth's windows are cracked and water barely trickles through the old kitchen faucet. Cobwebs adorn every room, including one particularly impressive arrangement that streams from the bed's headboard to an adjacent bedside lamp. In a large storage room are largely forgotten items, including memories from his parents and grandparents. A nearly new fly-fishing set sits unused in a corner, as are several tool chests that were part of the family's trucking business. No longer are laughter and joy reverberating off the old house's walls. All is silent as the prior occupant prepares to move on to his "mansion in the sky".
Each of us will eventually face a similar scenario. Our worldly possessions and life-long memories will fade as we transition to a new path, a path that Christians believe will be wonderful, one that Jesus is preparing for those who love him and walk like he walked, a new creation in a new dimension. When that time comes, our "ole house" will be but a memory as we stroll among those who have gone before us and now share a new life in Christ.
May we be worthy of the path that has been prepared for each of us. And may God bless those who come to clean out our lifetime of memories.
Blessings and peace,