community, spiritual life

Gut or tear down?

“Hearts rebuilt from hope resurrect dreams killed by hate.” Aberjhani, American poet, “The River of Winged Dreams”

It has been fascinating to watch. An old Arts & Crafts style house in our neighborhood recently changed hands. It was the home for decades of a single family, a home the elderly son of whom must have finally decided was too much house for one man.

The for-sale sign went up. It went down nearly as quickly. And, a virtual army of contractors has been swarming the badly neglected structure for the last two or three months. The first change was exterior paint. The house went from a faded, chipping brown with tired beige trim to a nautical blue and white that would look at home in Cape Cod.

And, that was only the beginning. There have been new windows, new doors, a ripping out of overgrown landscaping. Most recently, interior plaster has come crashing down. The open windows today revealed a whole-scale rewiring is in the works.

Someone has obviously decided that there was enough history, beauty and value in this old house to make it worth “gutting,” an odd American term for taking a structure down to its supports for rebuilding, instead of tearing down. I’m so glad, because, whoever that someone is, the whole neighborhood is in agreement. It was a good house even in its neglected state. Now, it’s a thing of beauty.

I’m so glad, too, that God works exactly the same way. Tired beige souls, neglected marriages, hope that can no longer quite stand on its own — God is a master craftsman, a restorer of them all. It’s true. No one, no one is a tear down, not as long as there is a God who makes all things new.


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