Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The House and Her Builder

The House and Her Builder . . . 
. . . a parable, of sorts, inspired by Luke 11:24-26

A quaint, old house sat lonely on the market for too long. Her doors were solemn, speechless. Her rooms shivered cold and vulnerable. She was “available” and scrubbed clean, yet throughly empty. And that is the merciless key to this story, because her quiet emptiness allowed the squatters to arrive in full force. They came not to make a home, not to beautify her walls nor to entangle joyful memories within her brick and mortar tapestry, but to simply exist, and with ill intent at that. And to selfishly devalue. And to destroy carelessly. The house was uninhabited and seemingly forgotten, so they took full advantage of her vacancy.

Then one day, the builder of the house, the man whose very hands had drawn the plans and nailed the nails, happened by the structure. And he bore witness to how things had gone so very wrong. He grieved the disarray of her scuffed shutters. He wept for the overgrown weeds and the straggly nature of the shrubberies around her hem. He inhaled the now pungent smell of what was once a carefully crafted clean slate -- she had been like a fresh page aching for pictures and words. And his heart quietly fell apart as he recalled his own vision for what this home would be, who she would become. But now it appeared, at least to the average observer, that she would be utterly lost.

So this man took action.

The builder bought the house that his hands had built. He paid handsomely. In full.

And he violently evicted those vile squatters.

Then the builder began the delicate process of suturing up the destruction those vagrants had wrought, beginning the painstaking work of covering each scar precisely, patiently. All the while, he lavishly filled the house to her brim with colorful paintings, with books housing stories that leapt from the page, with intricate foreign embroideries, with laughter and with love and with purpose. The house was at last secure, with no void, no place for intruders. She would be kept; she was full. Finally, there would be a strong someone to protect this precious property, this house the builder designed with care, for which he sweated and fretted and even bled.

The kind builder ransomed his creation from the destroyers to make it his own again. She had been the work of his hands, and so she was so precious to him, valuable beyond measure.

And this house, she became his home forever.