In 1979 my wife and I had the opportunity to move into a house after living in apartments for the first four years of our marriage. There was a family in our church that was moving to Chicago following a job offer for the dad who had been out of work for an extended period of time. They had a daughter who was in our youth group with whom my wife and I had counseled through some tough times and they asked if we would be interested in renting their home as they didn’t want to sell it at that time.
It was a beautiful home with a backyard that bordered a meandering creek. The only problem was that the four bedroom custom house seemed gigantic to us! In the six or so months that we lived there, we ended up closing off half of the huge living room and three of the bedrooms which were partially filled with the owner’s furniture. I will always remember that long cold walk to the end of the L shaped hallway to reach our bedroom at the opposite end of the house from the kitchen, family and living room where we spent most of our time! Needless to say, no matter how hard we tried to conserve, the utility bills were quite extensive!
Then an interesting set of events conspired that led us to make another move. After trying for about a year, my lovely wife told me one day, with a beaming face and heart that she was indeed pregnant with our first child! And with that announcement came a whole new set of concerns for us as we were not sure how long we would be staying in the home as the owners weren’t quite sure as to their future plans. But the desire and prayer to have a more permanent residence was quickly met when my paternal Grandmother passed and my folks offered to rent us her home in a great neighborhood, in a wonderful older part of town at a reduced rate.
The small two bedroom home seemed like heaven on earth to my young wife and myself! The neighborhood which had been built in the early 1950’s was going through a transition and many young families were moving in. One of the only problems we discovered early on was that the house seemed a little dark on the inside. After a while we realized that my grandmother had sheer curtains on all the windows in every room. So, the first thing we did was to remove them… and what a difference it made! Suddenly the rooms were aglow with sunshine and warmth and with it, the entire atmosphere of the home seemed to brighten up.
As I read from Matthew 6:22 this morning I was reminded of that special time in our lives and in particular of how the removing of those sheer curtains made such a big difference! The Message Bible tells us that “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes in wonder and belief, your body fills with light… If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you have.” The picture of opening the blinds of your eyes to the wonderment and childlike belief in the works of our Papa God enthralled me!
We have relatives that tend to keep their blinds drawn and the lights in the house dim and it seems to symbolize much of their lives. There is not much joy in their home and hopelessness abounds in their eyes. Do you know anyone like this? I find that the older I get the more light I like! The first thing I do in the morning is to open the blinds in our family room. When I go into the room to help my wife up each day I crack open the blinds to the large picture window in our bedroom so the first thing that she sees is the light of another glorious day.
Then with joy and great anticipation I greet her with the statement: “This is the day has made, let us rejoice and be glad today!” (Psalm 118:24 God’s Word ©) The light that flows through the windows in our home is like the light of God’s Word that brings warmth, expectations and a promise of good things to come! I can’t imagine living in a home where the curtains are drawn and fear and hopelessness prevail. That is not the place where Jesus abides. I picture heaven as brightly illuminated with the 24 hour presence of the glory of God… and that is how I want my house and my life to be! Wouldn’t you agree?
Have a bright day today as you keep your eyes focused on the wonder and childlike faith in the things of God… and as you do, keep asking yourself: “What or Whom am I expecting today?”