Tag Archives: word pictures

How to plan a house

Andrew and I are designing a door frame right now. It’s going to be red and black and silver, with bible verses, and lines from old hymns strewn over it. We’ll leave a couple of empty spaces for the grand opening, when the guests can write some words of their own. I’m thinking of giving it details, with flowers, and twirly bits; musical notes, you know. A great deal of thought has gone into the frame, and the door will fit just so, I think.

But it’ll be an awfully odd day if we open the door, and there’s no building behind it; or if there’s a bare, cold, horrid room behind it, with an uneven floor where the piles have slipped a bit, and panes missing from the windows. No! The grand opening of the front door is that of the whole house. Consideration should be given now for the relationships between all parts, for every room, and for the overall plan of the building. It goes (almost) without saying that a sound foundation is imperative too.

Now my door that I’m designing, with it’s pretty door frame, is my wedding. Of course :P. But the less obvious bit, the bit that many seem to neglect, is the preparation for once you step through that door. It’s strange to me that many couples put so much into a single day, and neglect to prepare for the time after. Where is the game plan for any marriage that starts with a fairy tale wedding? Where is the “after”, from the “happily ever”? Do you not have bills to pay, relatives to think of and visit, possibly children to raise? But all this merely pokes a finger at those who are short sighted. Oh no, that’s not the majority at all.

I’d say the majority are couples who’ve already lived together…who’ve done all the “after” already…So they decide, whether for aesthetic purposes or not, to maybe add a door to the place they’ve already built. They have a back door already, but adding the front door just makes it all a bit more presentable, and maybe more acceptable to the public eye. I would wonder in cases such as these, what it is that  they are trying to build.

If a two story house with a funny little rumpus room in the attic is what you’re going for, you build that from the foundation up, and you design with that end in mind as well. So what happens when you’ve built a rambling great shed, and discover that it’s not the home you were hoping for? Does adding a fancy front door make it more of a home? Can having a wedding change a wishy washy, meandering relationship into an intimate, purposeful marriage?

Anyhow, I’m sure you see the limits of this metaphor as well as I do. But from the evidence of my eyes: from relationships and marriages I’ve seen that worked and failed, I prefer to have my door purpose-built to be part of a home, and with the foundation for a solid marriage (that is, our individual relationships with Christ) dug long before I add the finishing touches, and open that door.

And at the end of the day, it’s just as well my fiancé and I are working alongside the master builder, hey?

There is a picture I one day want someone to paint, in colour, for all to see.

The best I can do is paint it for you to imagine :).

Consider a rock, turquoise and spotted white, roughly squarish, about the size of your shoe. Seamlessly it fits together with others, each with different shapes, colours and sizes. Running your fingers between stones, there are no chinks, no grips, no footholds. Each stone fits perfectly here and only here, in this wall, this part of the building.

It is an old, yet timeless building. It has grace and character. It is beautiful.

Now look wider, and see that the building is filled with light! And the rocks filter the light, so the building is lit in some places more than others-simply as some gemstones are more opaque than others, and some more translucent. So the building is filled not only with light, but with light of all shades and all kinds. 🙂 It’s pretty.

And this building’s foundations dig deep into the hill on which it stands. Unchanging, solid, unshakeable.

Towers and turrets, domes and bridges and balconies, buttresses and windows- a bit over the top maybe, but it works. 😀 Don’t you love that? And at the highest point of the highest dome, there is a rock which holds that whole dome together- the cornerstone.

Now this building is the temple of God, his dwelling-place; that light, the Spirit of God, which floods the temple, and the cornerstone, our saviour, Jesus the Christ.

And we (Christians) are the rocks which make up this temple. We do not have to become uniform, clay, ugly. But God takes us and uses us as we are-with all our quirks and rough edges! And we each have an irreplaceable place in his plans!

->Ephesians 2:19-22

This is my picture. Can you paint it?


It’s New Zealand today, and the world’s pretty normal. An illegal immigrant gives birth. So what?

Well, the baby doesn’t get a birth certificate, because the mother can’t go to the hospital for fear of being chucked out of the country.

So the kid has no I.D. Can’t get a passport, can’t apply for school, and has no entitlement to medical treatment.

Grows up out of the system. Has no nationality.

They aren’t NZ’ers, because they “aren’t here”- and the kid’s never seen, never known his mother’s country…

Heck, the mother’s probably some kind of refugee anyway, can’t/won’t go home. Anyhow, since she’s not here through official channels, they can’t get help.

Basically, the kid will live under fake I.D, or die young from a treatable medical condition, or be a hermit in the bush. Who knows? His assumed eventual prison sentence might give him a number, and, once in the system, he might live a fairly normal life-in a correction/detention centre.

But that’s not the point. The point is that you thought that you were more than a number. You thought I.D s were just handy administrative tools. Maybe they are. But like it or not, to some extent our numbers define us.


I don’t know how much it’s really like this of course. But it’s a sad possibility.