Have you ever traveled to a lavish hotel whose halls were carpeted in burgundy, hunter green and caramel with a replicated pattern that included a fleur-de-lis? Where you had to hand over your keys to a valet and wondered how much you should tip him, and more importantly, WHERE would your car be throughout the weekend? Where towels were stored in a heated cabinet and handed to you by a friendly cabana attendant when you stepped out of a chilly whirlpool? Where your came into your room in the late afternoon and found that your bed had been turned down for you in preparation for slumber?
Did you feel fully comfortable there?
I suppose I might be able to become accustomed to this type of pampered life if I was immersed in it for a time,
but the feeling that I remember from those experiences is one of feeling … like … I … didn’t … belong.
But … oh.did.I.belong this past weekend.
We traveled packed into a white station wagon.
Even as we began our journey,
we shared our hearts … no pretense … just open sharing.
I got to go up on Thursday with the hostess, speaker and lead photographer who knows the grounds.
I’m so glad.
It would have been difficult for me to soak in the glory
had I been put into the position that I had to jump straight from traveling to worship.
I reveled in the preparation for the coming of others.
Details … details …. I drank them in like a cup of warm tea on a cool fall morn.
This home is ancient … a homestead from generations past
passed down from one to the next
and deeply treasured
That’s the way we all want to be cherished, isn’t it?
We all need repair. We are all in search of mending. We all need healing.
Christ is our Savior. He is our Mender. He is our Healer.
But, He loves us
I walked through doors and thought of the decades of slamming screens ….
How many times had a weary parent
walked these stairs to carry a sick child
to another level to rest and mend and recover?
How many nights had this landing been a pivot point
as heavy feet carried a burdened heart
to the second floor to sleep
not knowing what tomorrow would bring?
How many times had these two huge stone steps –
monoliths laid sideways to rest and offer secure footing for visitors of all kinds –
been leapt across entirely
by rambunctious young men or twirling little girls
full of happiness and joy
that is shared among family and friends?
How many meals had been suds’ed-and-swished from pots and plates
as hearts were splayed open
and eyes entertained by clouds that trailed their way across the sky
and shadowed the grasses, trees and fields.
How many hands have reached for this knob …
pondering the hows and whens?
Snuggled under decades of blankets …
there was no chill in the night.
And safe inside these doors,
there was no reason to fear.
Amongst mismatched dishes from one era and another
and puzzles pieced together during sultry summers, then glued together for the saving,
we shared hearts … lives … and worries.
In the dim still light of morning and evening
and all the hours in between,
we listened for His words
and asked Him to help us be brave.
In need of mending and saving, we carried our mismatched spirits
to the mountains of North Carolina
where we spent a weekend in an ancient home upon a hill
and shared our hearts.
There was no valet … but exquisitely lavish were the days.