Sanctuary or Showroom


“We are His, beloved, the sanctuary where His Spirit dwells and makes His home.”

DoorOur house went on the market this week, a big red FOR SALE sign dug into the front lawn. My family is ready for change and yet our emotions are right there at the surface, sentiment hanging around as a guest at our dinner table. The four of us resist the tug of nostalgia to face the adventure of onward, upward.

We’re brave enough because we’re moving forward together, but our hearts have been planted here for so long. We feel the tearing in our uprooting.

We love this house. It is surreal, this family home jammed with ten years of memories suddenly not fully ours any longer. She’s been assessed and evaluated and now she’s getting checked out by strangers… Cars doing slow drive-bys on our street, an endless parade of showings. We sit at the neighbourhood Starbucks while realtors and buyers visit, and we wonder what they say while they wander through her rooms.

I find myself scrubbing her hidden corners with an old toothbrush and polishing already-clean floors on my hands and knees. I’m seeing our home through someone else’s eyes and I wonder if she’s enough. We’re competing with new construction and staged showrooms. Do these familiar, friendly spaces look worn?

Within these walls our “family-ness” was formed. We moved in almost exactly ten years ago, back when our children were still significantly shorter than their parents and bedtime was 7:00 pm. We were knit together in this space… slammed doors followed by awkward brother-sister hugs and apologies… birthday parties and bible studies… baths and bedtimes and backyard barbeques and snowball fights.

My Opa, now in heaven, used to visit each Saturday. He never came to the front door, always the back. And the rosebush that is in full bloom in our yard right now is where I’d watch him stop and sneak flowers to bring home to my Oma. Where others may see pretty roses as they do a walk-through… I see glory.

The light has shifted and everything looks different somehow.

I wonder about the light of perspective, and how it colours our view. I feel uneasy as I attempt to view our home in the light of calculated indifference–4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2400 square feet. It’s all too personal.

Looking around in this new context, the gift of perspective that goes hand-in-hand with change, makes me consider the light that God sees us in, as compared with the light we shine on ourselves.

I wonder if God looks at us–you and me–as an owner looks at that which he loves and cherishes. Our scars as memories rather than flaws. We are His, beloved, the sanctuary where His Spirit dwells and makes His home. Where we see tired, used, imperfect–He sees precious. I believe He sees us in the light of truth and redemption, as we truly are. Family. Cherished. Enough.
Image Credit: Industry is Virtue