When we moved back to town over a decade ago, we had the priviledge of staying with family while we searched for just the right house to buy. When we started the search, we thought, “How long can it take to find a simple house, anyway? We aren’t that picky….just something smallish, niceish and affordableish.”
Fast forward many months later, and the home we ended up buying was something we absolutely thought we did NOT want – but something God softened our hearts toward anyway – a long-empty foreclosure that needed a ton of work!
We hired a contractor, and after telling him our budget for remodeling the entire house, (and after he stopped laughing), we began to prioritize the things that needed to be done first (before I could pick out the fun stuff like tile and appliances.) We didn’t get very far into the conversation before he told us what the thing was that was going to suck up the biggest chunk of our budget, and the very last place I wanted to do so! Turns out the single most expensive thing in the whole remodel was above our heads in every room of the house, and it was made of popcorn (and not the yummy kind!)
Yep……turns out that oh-so-trendy acoustic ceiling (remember the added sparkles?) that was all the rage 50 years ago didn’t really age very well after all. It collected dust and fell apart when you tried to paint it, yet for decades it remained the ceiling style of choice for new homes and remodels all across America.
So, in essence, we were spending the largest portion of our hard-earned budget to cover up what someone else thought was the absolute best style choice for our 1980’s contemporary two-story….and as we watched over several days, as literally thousands of dollars were spent in covering up what someone once did purposefully, I kept thinking, “There has to be a lesson in this somewhere!”
I can’t tell you why that came to mind this evening as I settled down to write, (or where most of my daily devotions ideas come from for that matter!) but I am once again left meditating on the cost involved to cover over the mistaken choices of others, well-intentioned as they may have been. I don’t think most of us intend to make shoddy work of our choices, especially the big ones that will have lasting consequences. Sometimes we do the best with what we have, and sometimes the new and sparkly just catches our eye as something we really, really want in our life.
One thing is for sure, there will always be another new version of the popcorn ceiling, some new social trend or even spiritual belief that promises to be the best version of the thing, and it can be easy to get swept away in the hype and sureness that this time, it will truly last.
How grateful I am that God understands us so well! He knows the intentions of our hearts, both to do good and to do harm, and he has made a way to not only correct the wrong in the world, but to correct the wrong in us. His unwavering commitment to forgive, to love and care for us – to cover us with his grace and mercy, seems overwhelming at times.
It’s a process, an ongoing renewal of our hearts….and thankfully, one that’s already been paid for. <3
Covered in grace,