There is a story told of a man who built a house. The plans were incredible; detailed, flowing, beautiful, function, and workable. The team that formed on the site represented the spectrum of humanity; hard core rockers to classical music buffs, crooners, Elvis fanatics, and even the odd fan of folk and story-telling. For reasons that even they did not understand the bond that formed through hard work, tensions, and even a fight or two, was water tight. They believed in the project. They had faith in their abilities to complete the project.
In time, despite delays and challenges beyond their abilities to control, the first workable rooms were formed and functioning. Celebrations abounded at ever corner! Their confidence and belief in the future strengthen. Their fact based knowledge of the intricacies of the plan empowered them to work even harder. Adversity only encouraged, at least for awhile.
The story goes on to tell how others, without thought, care, or awareness, came in the night to rip away at the core of the plans. Joel’s description of the world around him fit perfectly. “My country's being invaded by an army invincible, past numbering, teeth like those of a lion, fangs like those of a tiger. It has ruined my vineyards, stripped my orchards, and clear-cut the country. The landscape's a moonscape.” (Joel 1.6, 7)
I don’t know how the story ends; I hope that in time I will. I relate to the story with an ease that I wish wasn’t true. I realize that the real story isn’t about the house or even the plans and wonder designs. It is all about people! People working and caring for each other; people watching out, protecting each other. People that live, walk and breathe compassionate relationship. The moonscape will not last! Nothing can stand in the way of mercy, sharing, and giving. In the very moments that it appears darkest a voice from one of the team echoes across the space.
“Need a hand? Can I help in any way?”
I wonder why God’s voice always startles me.