The picture on the left is a house in my parents’ neighborhood. It burned in February of 2015. I would see it every time I went for a run, and it stayed like this for almost a year. Apparently, there were issues with the investigation and insurance companies and attorneys and so forth. But each time I came home and saw it — still burned and badly broken with no restoration happening — I thought how it reminded me of too many people I know. Their lives have been badly burned and broken by the effects of their sin and the sins of others against them. Yet they think they are “just fine” and choose to do nothing. Or maybe they know that they are a hot mess but are unwilling to begin the very painful and laborious job of cleaning up and cleaning out their junk. So they stay like the burned out house.
My parents happen go to church with the neighbors who live directly behind this home. I spoke with them on a Sunday morning last fall, and as one might imagine, they were so very tired of looking at the eyesore. It has affected that entire area of the neighborhood. For a long time, the smokiness could still be smelled as I ran by. I’m sure it has also been a rodent magnet — the “ickiness” of it all just spilling out and over into the rest of the neighbors’ lives. This is what happens when people choose not to deal with their stuff. Their ickiness spills out onto the lives closest to them. More than once, I’ve walked away from a situation smelling like smoke. And, let me tell you, it is no fun.
Back in Louisiana this week to be with my father whose health is failing, I went for a run to work out some stress and sadness. As I rounded the corner and saw the picture on the right, I thought, “Well, it’s about time!!” A full year later, but they are finally doing something about that mess. And then I thought about those people I know who still look like the house on the left — and have looked that way a lot longer than just a year. I said a prayer for them, that maybe just maybe, they’ll take the first step in allowing God to demolish the old so that the new can spring forth.
Don’t be like the house on the left. Rebuild your broken home.