{Grateful}

{the overgrown house}

Up the street is an overgrown house.
There are sticks and leaves and weeds and bushes blockading the front of the house.
It’s a surprise in a row of modest but well-tended homes.
But everything about this house is overgrown.
I’ve never seen anyone there.  It doesn’t even have a mailbox anymore.  No mailbox, no mailbox post.  Brick is hidden by flourishing ivy.  Garage, shutters, and windows, smothered in brush.  Flagpole rusted and empty.  From the right angle past the vines peeks a front door.
I see it.
And I see more.  I see a garden.  I see a front porch light twinkling against a fall evening.  I see grass stains and muddy knees and ripped jeans and grins and eyes wide with exploration.  I see backyard picnics and forts in the living room.  I see lullabies in the sunset.  I see laughter and friends and barbeque and popsicles.  I see snowball fights and snowmen.  I see cookies and milk, pizza and lemonade.  I see a mailbox bursting with Christmas gifts and letters from far away zip codes.
I see it.
I smile when I drive past, because I see what it could be.
And then I see that I am the street.
I see the homes tended.  I see God at work.  Weeding.  Repainting.  Stripping and scrubbing.  Sanding.  Refurbishing.  Reinforcing.  Trimming.  Planting.
The places he’s restored.  The places he calls home.
And I see the houses still overgrown.  I see houses that belong to him, but are still becoming his home.  I see them and I work on a smile, because I know he sees what they can be.  What they will be.
I walk down the street of my heart and breathe thankfulness for what he’s already done.  I murmur gratefulness for his patience.  I breathe pleas for what he still has to do.
And at the overgrown house up the street, I see him in his work pants, hammer through the carpenter loop.  There are fresh blueprints rolled up in his back pocket, and he’s putting up a mailbox.
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