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If These Walls Could Talk

September 6, 2017

Thanks to a terrible storm named Harvey, I’ve seen what water can do when it goes where it shouldn’t–even as little eight to ten inches of it. I’ve seen how beloved books expand when wet, so that you need a crowbar to pry them off their soaking shelves. I’ve seen my house torn down to the studs and I now know what its insides look like. I’ve seen head-high mounds of the kind of story-telling rubble that exposes years of memories in a glance.

But if my walls–my naked walls–could talk, they wouldn’t speak of devastating storms. Those are fleeting, and thankfully, rare. They’d speak of the goodness that has filled them in the last five years, and especially in the last five days.

On August 25, I packed 3 bags and one bewildered dog and drove west to San Antonio, into the safe and welcoming arms of friends. I was running from a storm. For almost a week I saw the rain relentlessly batter the city that I love, and in the wee hours of August 27th, watched on the county’s flood control website as the 56-foot-deep bayou 100 yards from my home crested its banks. I knew what that meant.
Since I’ve returned, my ruined home has been full. If its walls could talk, they would tell of the kind, determined friends and strangers who have scrubbed out mud, cut out sheet rock, lugged wet, heavy furniture to the curb, gathered keepsakes, packed boxes, mopped, bleached, pulled up floors and removed much of what Harvey destroyed.
I could view the house I worked so hard to own as an empty, sad and stinking shell–or I could see it as a place whose walls contain the love of Christ, expressed and poured out in more ways lately than I’ve ever imagined possible. I don’t know how many tears I’ve shed in the last week, but I do know this: I’ve cried more often in response to the kindness of others than I have over what’s been lost.
When I opened up the house this morning to walk through it with a building contractor, my friends had left handwritten messages on its walls: “We love you and are excited for dinner in your new home. It will be awesome…” and “Yes, you are wonderful, JESUS,” and “Proverbs 3:3-6” and “Good times…thanks for having us over…sorry. if we made a mess,” and “You will serve God here again…”
The strong, called, equipped and loving body of Christ–not a church, or my church, but THE Church–has filled my home with the beauty of our Beloved…and if these walls could talk, well, they’d say He’s been inside.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, NASB)
“Speak what you feel, not what you ought to say.”
©Leigh McLeroy, 2017