Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
TITLE: Light and Life
By Beth Muehlhausen
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I know all the crooks and crannies of a spacious old dwelling - one of those antique places with lots of Victorian brick-a-brack everywhere. We were intimately connected even back before the upheaval that changed it forever.
It seemed a sad home for so long: run-down, dark, and haunted. Hidden secrets popped up unexpectedly here and there – scary secrets like skeletons in the hall coat closet, and boxes full of unfinished business in the kitchen pantry. The entire structure reflected ongoing struggle and fear. Each cob-web-filled room represented gloomy loneliness. Was this place truly hopeless?
Over the years, furtive ghosts took over, spreading guilt and fear throughout. These liars indwelt the home a little at a time until it was filled with deceit.
And then one day a ragged, rotten attic curtain finally fell to the floor – a feeble symbol of relinquishment. A ray of light shone through the tiny, exposed window, sending a single shaft of brilliance across the bare rafters. It seemed such a small thing, but the light ushered in more than brightness. It warmed the forlorn boards in such a way that the wood fibers seemed to swell with new desire. They sighed with relief after years of cold paralysis.
After sunset, the empty attic reverted to barrenness without the influence of that precious stream of light. “If only I could have a voice.” thought the attic! “If only – I could be heard!” A desperate plea breathed through the thick, stale attic air with a hoarse whisper: “Come back, light! Come back and stay – please!”
Thankfully, the next day the light returned, even more brilliantly than before. The attic hoped perhaps this could be a new season…a season of light?
Around noon a powerful earthquake shook the home’s foundation and then pulsed its way through the rooms below. These shock waves pushed back the heavy, dust-laden drapes and shattered the mud-stained windowpanes.
In came the light, streaming like a torrent of persuasion, enlarging and breathing life into the main floor rooms!
Why had this not happened earlier? But then again - why today?? There seemed no obvious answers, and yet the scarred and weary structure welcomed the light and its promise: hope. Perhaps this was somehow the perfect day for radical change to begin.
A few dark inner shadows jealously clung to their waning territories, unwilling to relinquish the darkness. Teeming termite-like creatures swarmed in dark corners as the incoming brilliance forced them to retreat. Perhaps the light would shift; perhaps it would grow stronger and eliminate the lingering shadows and their gluttonous hosts altogether.
Before the purging began, the home’s occupants consisted of unwelcome undesirables – ghosts of what had been, ghosts of what might be, and authoritative predators. It was empty, neglected, seemingly forgotten. But as the light crept through the rooms, visionary remodel plans took over. The home would become so much more than it had ever been before! It would soon be a new place altogether; it would support and nurture LIFE!
With an incredible display of power, the renewing light continued to pulse methodically through each room minute-by-minute for days, weeks, months…exposing closets and dark corners and chasing their unseemly contents away. Eventually every inch was cleansed. Prepared. Readied for the next step.
A home without a real, living tenant is not a home – it’s just a vacant dwelling. Now a “no vacancy sign” hangs on the front door. My heart has become a home for the Light of the World.
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us…” Psalm 67:1-2a
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Ephesians 3:16
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…” Revelation 3:20
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