My home has been like a builders worksite for the last 10 weeks. Apart from a couple of problems that will hopefully be rectified by the workmen before too long, things are finally returning to normal.
Before the work began we packed away the treasures….religious statues, icons, pictures, plates depicting religious imagery, wall hung crucifixes, an heirloom coffee set ( not valuable except in sentiment), photographs of my family etc.
By packing everything up and removing it from the house, the workmen were able to do their job unhindered and we were assured that those things we consider of special significance that are of a certain fragility, remained unbroken.
But removing things also emptied the house in another way. It removed virtually any sign of Faith in my home.
At a time when my spiritual life was adrift and God seemingly unattainable, I perhaps needed those visual promptings, those reminders, more than ever. There is a reason that people have historically made the sign of the cross in the dirt, with twigs, with anything that they can get their hands on, or in.
It is a sign of Faith, a reminder of God’s presence in our lives, of what He did for us, as a reminder that no suffering has to be devoid of producing good, of the hope we have of a life without suffering, eventually.
And don’t we just need that reminder in our darkest days.
I know i do. I am a very visually orientated person.
With the house barely inhabitable, where there had once been order and routine, now there was disorder and no routine.
For 2 months workmen have turned up for work as early as 7am on some mornings and not turned up for days on end when they should have done. Instead of altering my routine around what has been happening both inside and outside the home, I allowed myself to feel overwhelmed by everything and I abandoned my routine.
But the time has come to put the past behind me and to move forward. God didn’t call me to walk after him if he meant for me to put my cross down and stop moving when things got tough.
I will not be a sulky kid and roll around in the dirt of where i find myself at present.
Because I have a choice.
This week has taught me that i have been capable of behaving totally out of character when pushed to the very limit.
I’m not pleased with myself, of how I have dealt with things.
No matter what wrongs have been done me, it is incumbant upon me to respond in the way that Christ would, not in the way that heightened emotions and a proud temperament have lead me to respond.
I am human and I am a sinner, but that doesn’t make a thing acceptable.
We can’t justify our behaviour by saying ‘he’ or ‘she’ hurt us first.
Other peoples culpability is between them, God and their confessors. Mine is between me, God and my confessor.
I am not judge and jury.
Judging is for God and for those who Christ has given authority on earth.
So now, as I begin to unwrap the religious reminders that i am in fact a person of faith and hang them on my walls and place them on my bookcases and other surfaces once more, I kick the sand from my gorgeous red Pavers clogs and i move on…never fully leaving behind that which has left its ‘fingerprint’ on my soul….but moving forward in the hope that there is a more fulfilling life to come than that which I am leaving behind.
It is said that God never closed a door without first opening a window. I believe that is true. I have lived that truth in the past and doubtless will live it again.
Whether i can fit through the window is another thing entirely!
p.s. Rita has a fab post up about routine, please go and read it. It prompted me to write this very post.
p.p.s. On Thursday my car’s petrol tank started to leak (what better day could it have chosen to happen!!!) petrol poured down the street. I contacted the garage who hurried here because it was obviously a fire hazard, and they have ordered and fitted a new petrol tank.
They also did the MOT on the car .. The garage still have the car though and we won’t be making it to Mass this weekend.
As difficult as things are for us financially, I must thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your generous offers of financial assistance (and holidays on the beautiful Isle of Wight!), but I am unable to accept this kind of help.
However, your supportive and encouraging emails and comments and knowing that you are holding us all in prayer, has helped to sustain me and my family in a way that money never could.
May God Bless your generous and kind hearts. Thank you from the bottom of mine.