Five years ago, next month, our family moved into our first house. Always having had to rent, we were so excited to own our own home. We spent hours cleaning, organising, painting, planting and making it a reflection of us.
As any homeowner knows, houses are a lot of work. There is always another project. Over the last five years, we have replaced sinks, toilets, floors, doors and appliances.
When we first moved in, one of the bedroom windows had a hole in it. (Ironically, one of our children was here playing with the previous owner’s children when the ball broke the glass.)The windows were all double paned glass and we couldn’t feel any air coming through so we put off the job of replacing it. And the next year we put it off and the next and the next.
This year, just after Christmas, our daughter came to us to let us know that the window was not only full of water but it was seeping out all over her floor. Ugh.
In McGyver-esque style, my husband cut the plastic table cover in half, got his ladder and his staple gun, went outside and covered the window. What had seemed like a small hole, insignificant really, now threatened to rot and destroy the front of our house. How long had the rain been coming in? What about all of the years of snow?
Our inaction had the potential to cost us dearly. Fast forward, we made the decision to replace our windows over the next few years, starting with the broken bedroom window. A friend who used to work in the field offered to help teach my husband how to remove an old window and install a new one. He warned that we should be prepared for serious damage around the leaking window.
Supplies bought, preparations made, time set aside, schedules committed to the work… the window came out and there was no damage!The new window went in and the room that was stale and airless had new life breathed into it. The sunshine was clear and bird song floated through the front of our house.
Thinking about that window, I couldn’t help but consider areas in my life that I have simply covered over. Sometimes I try to hide my brokenness from others and sometimes I even try to hide it from myself. The longer I cover it over without dealing with it, the more it has the potential to hurt me or even create rot and decay in my life. Only by removing what is wrong and replacing it with what is right am I able to be healthy, strong and functioning as I should.
It is difficult to describe just how wonderful the fresh air felt in that room. From being shut in, closed off and broken, that room offered new freedom and opportunity. It is now a pleasure to sit in there and our daughter spends hours at her desk working in front of the unmarred glass. The transparency of being whole and at its best has brought great happiness (to our daughter who has to live in the space), it has overcome fear (of a rotten house) and there is joy in knowing that things are as they should be.
Are there any broken windows in your house? Are you hiding behind something that is covering rot, decay or ruin in your life? In an effort to cover over, are you being consumed by the dissolution of what you know you could have if only you committed to ridding yourself of what is broken?
Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
This I say then, walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
I sought the LORD and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called and the LORD heard him, He saved him out of all His troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and He delvers them.