I live in the midst of a construction zone. No, my home is not part of a new housing development; actually it’s over 100 years old. I live in a part of the city that is experiencing life out of death as new homes rise in lots laid bare by flood waters, buy-outs, and excavators.
As exciting as it is for my preschool sons to daily witness the massive movement of “big machines,” I see my own journey too often for comfort in the constant change happening around our house. Life can feel like the landscape outside of my window: open and exposed. There’s obviously work to be done, something to be built, but I do not yet see what that structure will look like. In gaping holes, muddy tracks, and piles of stone and earth, the beauty is hard to see. It looks raw, dirty, and even broken in a way.
But the truth is that this hole, this mountain of dirt, these crude beginnings are all signs of life. Yes, of death too as they remind me that all that came before in this space is no more. But still of life. New memories will be built here. New rhythms, new beauty, new dreams. This will be home in a new way.
In life, this is a particularly hard place for me to be, staring at the space opening up to hold something yet to be revealed. Everything in me cries out to see the blueprints of the building, the artist rendering of the final product. I want to know the construction timeline because, as I reason with God, I need to be prepared so I don’t miss anything, so I can absorb and respond, so I can get it right.
Ah… there it is. The source of the tightness in my chest as I stare into the still undefined space of my life. There is this fear that if I don’t know what’s being built, it won’t be built correctly. In this paradigm, I am the builder, operating blind, trying to create a home that is beautiful, safe, and secure… and I easily feel terrified that I will fail. How can I make sure the home is exactly what is needed if I am building blind with no blueprints, no artist rendering, no timeline. I cannot.
And therein lies my freedom. I cannot. More than that, I am not expected to. I am not the builder. Even more, I am not blind. But my eyes are called to a different focus, to the very face of Jesus. He is the builder. He is the dwelling place. He is the vision for the future and the present moment.
So both outside my windows and in my heart, I see life and beauty rising out of brokenness and confusion. I embrace the freedom to marvel as the landscape changes, not as something for which I am responsible, but as an unfolding wonder directed and executed by a Master Builder. And while change marches relentlessly around me, I open my heart to the security and comfort of my unchanging Home.