Lens on the SOUL (Photo Essay # 3)

This Old House 

I spotted this old house while driving south on highway 56 in Ohio on my way to my private retreat at Hocking Hills.  My peripheral vision only caught the scene as a blur but I realized it needed a better look, so I turned around and went back.  The house did not disappoint me!  If this house could talk!  One wonders how many families called it home.  How many Christmas mornings did children anxiously make their way down the stairs to gifts waiting?  How many tears of misunderstanding were shed within its walls?  How many meals were eaten in its kitchen?  I suspect a lot of living took place in this old house that was, but is no more, a home.

Houses get old and eventually someone figures they’re not worth fixing up anymore.  They’re abandoned, and the deterioration accelerates.  Believe it or not (but please do, it’s true) while I was taking pictures of this hold house a gust of wind, not all that strong, sent yet another piece of small wooden trim from the house falling to the ground.  Yes, I saw the slow and usually imperceptible process of decay happen right before my eyes!

It’s OK for a house to deteriorate – it’s just wood and stone.  Homes are another matter.  Homes are made up of families — of moms, dads, husbands, wives, and children.  The building material is not that of wood, brick, nails, or wiring but of love, hopes, forgiveness, patience, compromise and a host of other building materials.  A home should never be allowed to deteriorate.  House improvement is optional, home improvement’s not.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)


2 responses to “Lens on the SOUL (Photo Essay # 3)

  1. max gerber December 12, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Your picture of the old, decaying house and your wondering what all had happened in that house brings back memories of Rosemary. As you know, we traveled much, and we saw many decaying houses and barns like this. And your wonderings sounded just like my wife’s…every time she passed one, she would wonder aloud what stories the old house could tell us if it could talk. Maybe she should have been a preacher, too.

  2. Marcena December 17, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Your house and “home” entry is so true to my situation. With my house on the market going on three years now amd no offers, 3 realtors, an almost foreclosure, I have left the matter to God. Realtors say it is a “fixer upper” and no one wants to fix up in this market. This is true…

    Well, I say as you say, my house is my house, but my “home” is intact. Here is a partial list of all the memorable things my family went through in this house and oh the tales it could tell…

    My family of six (Mom, Dad, kids age 3,5,8 10.) purchased the house..in 1998 so filled with joy getting into a 4 bedroom bath and half with basement from a two bedroom one bath tiny house. This family of 6 soon became 5 due to a very sad divorce. Dad lost his factory job but God provided work for Mom. Mom and kids made it through very tough times with no support from Dad and many basic needs unmet. The house went into disrepair with a contractor who abandoned a basement redo in midstream and four kids, four dogs and two cats, two guinea pigs which together had 2 litters of 8 babies, two rabbits, all who did their usual living in a house while growing up.

    The kids became tweens, teens and adults, and in 2005 God blessed this family with a surprise grandbaby in 2005. Now 5 went to 6 again and Baby Dad moved in to help my daughter, making 7 adding a dachshund pup to the four dog mix Baby Dad brought over. Now everyone who could work worked…except for Dad, unsaved and unemployed, divorced, lost in his world of vices and went virtually physically missing to this family of 7.

    The family of 7 eventually went back to 4, Baby Dad and daughter moving out with grandbaby, who has grown so big now and our home, how it misses his pitter patter of feet every morning up and down the stairway and his bath in Grandma’s kitchen sink. Daughter number two graduated, moved out on her own and now the home is down to 3, five dogs, two cats but an amazing thing happened! While house was in foreclosure, God helped Dad find his way “home”; spirtually hungry and emotionally healed, and provided him a job! Although Dad lives apart from our home, he is “home” at least for the four kids, two now adults, back in their lives.

    And now…well, the “house” is still for sale. Mom is still working hard and even learned to do floors and clean out clogged drains. The one thing this house has is “hope”, faith and love, the greatest of these is “love”. Love for God and for each other. God has never left our “home” while in this house, never foresaken us, despite all the trials while in this house. Our home is intact; my family is together and yes, still financially struggling everyday but God saw us all through and He is my Realtor and my Savior! I hope this entry finds hope for someone else who may be feeling hopeless or “homeless”.

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