If you’ve followed me for very long, it’s no surprise that I love old houses. I mean, take a gander at my Instagram if you don’t believe me. I’m obsessed with 1930s architecture, vintage tile, worn hardwood floors, glass doorknobs… Sigh.
I’ve had a not-so-secret desire to be a real estate agent since way back when I graduated from college, because I love houses. I also (mostly) love people, and I suspect matching the people up with the ideal home would be the most satisfying job on earth, if I weren’t completely terrified of surviving on straight commission, but it’s on the bucket list.
I mean, I’m the girl who cries actual tears at HGTV episodes when the makeover is revealed at the end and the people get exactly what they wanted.
I’m just kidding, of course. Who would cry over HGTV? Psshhh. NOT ME. Because that would be ridiculous. But I digress…
OLD BUILDINGS thrill my soul. I’ve been known to put my life on the line to
break and enter, I mean, snoop through an old, abandoned hotel. AND IT WAS THRILLING. Trespassing? Those laws are for OTHER people, man. I LAUGH in the face of danger. *not really, dad, if you’re reading this
I see potential everywhere.
My favorite cousin, Old McDonald’s Wife, shares my love of all things OLD, and has driven many-a-mile through the backroads of East Texas with me to stalk the PERFECT old farmhouse that I JUST KNOW IS OUT THERE SOMEWHERE, traipse through tall weeds to peek through dusty old Victorian windows, and drive my favorite realtor insane touring homes that nobody in their right mind would want… but *I want. BECAUSE OLD HOUSE CHARM, y’all.
Being the ENFP, Aquarius, Enneagram Type 7 that I am, I LIVE in the world of ideas and dreams. I mean, I would LOVE to live in the world of ideas and dreams, but I’m often restrained by having to be a mature adult, against my wishes…
So recently, I was just out doing what I do, and peeking through the windows of a vacant old house. I could see, literally, four inches of hardwood floor through the crack in the curtains in the living room, and by teetering on a cinderblock I found in the backyard and dragged to a high window and stood on end, I could sort of see into the kitchen, enough to see an old 1940s sink and ORIGINAL 1940s hex tile…. and y’all….
That was enough for me.
I knew that I knew that I KNEW that THIS HOUSE IS MY SOULMATE. I mean, it was 1) old, and 2) had hardwood floors, and 3) IT HAS THE 1940S KITCHEN SINK, OK? Location? Meh. I wanted this house. This house NEEDED ME. It’s THE ONE and I KNOW IT’S THE ONE because I could feel it in my gut, and who really cares about logic at a time like this.
I thought of this the other day when I was reading through 1 Corinthians 13.
That’s the chapter about love. There’s so much wisdom in that short chapter, but the verse that says, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror…” jumped out at me.
The King James version says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly…”
And I love how The Message puts it,
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
I know God isn’t talking about the logic (or lack thereof) in pinning all your hopes, dreams, twenty percent down, and a thirty-year mortgage on an old house of which you’ve only seen four inches of the living room floor. PART of me was ready to go ALL IN… call the bank… sign the papers… BET ALL MY CHIPS AND MY KIDS’ COLLEGE FUND ON THIS ONE. Based on four inches of living room floor. Oh, and that cute sink.
A glimpse through the curtains doesn’t show me whether the wiring is an eighty-year-old fire hazard, whether the sewer line under the house is intact, or whether, say, it’s full of ghosts and raccoons. I could only see an IDEA of what was in there…
BUT … basing all of our religious doctrine on something we THINK we can deduce from God’s word, is sort of the same thing.
We can’t really see it all… just glimpses, through a dusty Victorian window.
I see so many well-meaning Christians stirring up strife and dissension and boycotts on Facebook over things that at the end of the day, don’t really matter all that much.
I feel so sorry for NOT ONLY the non-Christians, but all the Christian authors, bloggers, and musicians who are being raked over the coals BY CHRISTIANS over issues of doctrine… when NONE of us really see it clearly and the Bible even says that we don’t see clearly.
And we can tell we don’t see clearly, because OUR OWN doctrine changes as we grow up.
For most of my own life, for example, I would have died of thirst before I dared drink a drop of alcohol. I would have been the one posting scathing anti-alcohol, “you’re NOT GODLY if you drink,” articles all over Facebook, had it existed then. It’s not a hill I’m willing to die on anymore. It’s not worth alienating the PEOPLE to spew my opinions about it on Facebook. BUT WHAT DOES JESUS THINK OF ALCOHOL?! Gosh, I don’t know… I’m just teetering on a cinder block trying my best to see the whole picture.
I DO know what IS important to God, because 1 Corinthians 13 says it’s important:
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
That’s from The Message version of the Bible, which is one of those proverbial hills that some Christians are apparently willing to die on, because it isn’t the holy King James version. So for those people, here’s the same thought in ‘Godlier’ language:
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Love God, and love people, basically.
I Corinthians 13 goes into more detail about HOW to do it, but those are the highlights. I’m trying to do a better job of showing love to people, even if we disagree on doctrine.
I’m better at loving old houses, hardwood floors, glass doorknobs, and vintage sinks, if I’m honest, but I’m working on it.