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Monday, Feb. 8, 2016
Where Love LivesPosted Friday, July 20, 2012, at 8:49 PM
They sat at the table scribbling over a drawing. They each talked about what they dreamed of having . . . a bedroom large enough for a seating area as well as the bed . . . how about a built in bookcase . . . what about a separate dining room from the kitchen . . . with a cabinet that opened on both sides so you could put the dishes in the kitchen or the dining room. How about a real coat closet? What about enclosing the space under the stairs for storage? Could there be a bathroom for everyone so they no longer had to share?
The ideas poured out as they drew and redrew the plans until they had the perfect floor plan. Months later they began to watch as the home was being built. None of them could resist going by the building site multiple times per day . . . they wanted to see every nail hammered; every room as it was created.
Moving in was a thrill. Their new home was perfect--a clean slate upon which to write their lives from that day forward. And it was a home filled with love. Friends came to share time and space in their home. Kids spent the night and sometimes filled the floor with pallets when they ran out of beds. Laughter and hugs, jokes and tears were abundant. The kids friends all wanted to spend their time there. It was a home built with love and shared that love with those who entered its walls. It was a safe place--a place of love.
The family aged. Children left home, seeking life and adventure in faraway places. Yet, the home was always filled with love. The parents aged, the furniture changed, family died, tears were shed, and always their home comforted them. It always protected them and sheltered them from life's and nature's storms.
Finally, the family dwindled to one. She loved her home, but her life was planted elsewhere. When she stood inside the home she could hear the sounds of her siblings, parents, and other family and friends who had all passed. The house was empty--it was time to give it a new family to love, nurture, and cherish.
When the "for sale" sign was finally placed, another family began a dream of living in the home. One of that family's members had grown up spending time in the home. She had spent much of her young life with the home and had experienced its love, nurture, and protection. She wanted to live there . . . in a house filled with love.
It made the passing of the home easier. It almost felt as if it were still in the family. The house opened itself to its new family. The one left of the original family knew that this was the right thing and the right people to carry on the legacy.
God has a home for us. God is our home. God is always there ready to love, protect, nurture, laugh, cry, or hold us. We allow God to fill our dwelling place and God's legacy leaves a part of God there even when we move on.
God help us to allow ourselves to be the place where you dwell. Help us to share the love, nurture, and protection that you provide with others; to be a place that is safe; a place to turn to in both good times and bad. Thank you for filling us; help us always to allow your love to draw others to live in love. So be it. Amen.
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.