My house

I am about to join the ranks of the people who tape peculiar messages to strangers on their windows or doors.

It began this last Thursday when I was at work, talking to someone on my cell phone when I heard the familiar beeping sound of an incoming call. I couldn’t get to it right away. As I was checking the message a moment later, my land line began ringing and my heart sank when I viewed the caller ID. It was the monitoring service for my security system.

The police response time was good and they called me with the verdict: a broken window. A bit of discussion revealed that it was the same window on which repairs had just been completed the day before (because of the previous break-in). The same window scheduled to have security bars installed on it the next morning.

I knelt on the floor and wept.

Although the damage and losses were considerably less from this second break-in, I have struggled with it more. There have been moments when anger has risen to the surface. I have questioned the sentiments of my previous post, Letter to a lost soul. I have felt a bitterness toward the insurance company that seemed to treat me so well, now having learned that my single claim will push up my rates because I am no longer a “safe home owner”.

But I have also stood before God, feeling chastened and stripped of my pride and attachments. Who am I to think that anything really belongs to me, whether it be my electronics, my house or even my faith? (“What do you possess that you have not received?” 1 Cor 4:7)

What is it that God is inviting me to learn, as I let go of not only my possessions but the security I imagine that I have behind my four walls?

A number of responses have occurred to me. Perhaps I am called to enter more deeply into material simplicity – to not replace the stolen items, to refrain from owning anything of enough value to be stolen. Or perhaps I will replace them all and fortify my house with security measures. Or perhaps…

But whatever I do on the outside is not nearly so important as what I do on the inside. Or rather what I allow God to do within the depths of my heart. Stuff will come and go. My house will come and go. Even my body will come and go. But my heart’s journey to God is the one thing that cannot be compromised: it is eternal.

And it is and ever will be a journey. What I feel called to do now, today, is to post the following message on the remaining intact window that faces my back yard. Whether anyone reads it is not up to me. What is important is that I proclaim the message and commit myself to it…

My house is a house of prayer for all people. Whatever your needs or problems, whatever your addictions or mistakes, I am praying for you. And my prayers are always heard. But for us to receive God’s gifts, we must turn our hearts from evil and learn to do good. Please join me as I strive to do this with all my heart.

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