Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feeding the Hunger

We have had so much help on the house I was thinking it would be cool to make a path or a wall and carve or etch every one's name on it who has contributed: Donna, Bob, Neil, Laura, Nickole, Ryan, Laura, Aaron, Ellie, Leanne, Jeremy, Mike, Lori, Tamara, Mark, Pam, Linda, Jeremy, Jen, Don, Ricci, Toni, George, Travis, Charles, Besty, Lori, Dan, Chris, Tim, Miss R, Viking Man, Feche, KB, Cub, Flower and so many, many others. And concurrently, I keep thinking of the line in Master and Commander, when they are repairing the ship and the grunts say to one another, "Lucky Jack has spilt so much blood aboard  that it runs in the vein of this ship"  Ah, yes, there's a bit of our blood in this old house. Seriously. We keep the first aid kit and a pack of bandages, scissors and tweezers at the ready. And not only blood. Last week I think I left the top 4 layers of my hands behind. The wood stripper we finally found that was effective in stripping the 80+ year old cracked and onewiththedoor varnish ate through gloves and skin as well as stain. And speaking of hands, there's the splinters. Tim and I, at least, were fishing planks of wood splinters out of our hands, despite gloves. Energy? We've invested enough of that I'm not sure we'll ever get it back.
Along with all of the excitement and enthusiasm we're experiencing in creating something beautiful out of something worn and beat, I feel...churned up. Last week was hard work, yes, but full of fellowship and like-minded people being proactive (a far better feeling than the one we had last year about this time as we threw, threw, threw away). Talking about theology and the deep things of life, joking and bantering, eating and serving, being in communion despite age and church and background differences. The work was exhausting but the camaraderie energized and we spent each night, late, despite the physical exhaustion,  around the campfire in the barnyard, roasting marshmallows, telling and sharing favorite stories and gazing at God's glorious display of stars and planets. And now that our young friends have gone and we are back to business as usual  I find myself feeling discontent. Wanting "home" more than ever, knowing here isn't but not really sure where it is I'm longing for. The taste of heart fellowship has whetted my appetite for more and the lonely country we find ourselves in once again doesn't satisfy.

I dreamed, early this morning, about my Mom, who has been gone for 11 1/2 years, and my younger sister, sporting Sue's hair cut instead of her own and looking eerily like her.  I woke up feeling out of sorts and troubled. Looking, yearning for a place, the substance of dreams I have repeatedly. Rooms, houses, grounds. Paradoxically I am consumed by a place- this house. Readying it, beautifying it, living in it amongst construction, and while consumed by it, not feeling settled.

Last week this place felt like home for the first time in a year, despite the fact that most of our possessions continue to reside in attic bins, sleeping in the living room, sharing bathrooms with shower curtains for doors. It was full of joy and laughter and servant hearted sacrifice, good food and fellowship and the joy that comes with hanging out with others who share a faith in SomeOne bigger than troubles and heartache and longings for home so intense that make one want to weep with the hope of it.

Last week made real this statement by Shauna Niequist, "Sometimes the most spiritual things we do are the most physical, the most tactile. Feeding people is one of those things, whether we're helping to feed hungry people, or feeding the hunger in each one of us on these dark and heavy winter nights" (Bittersweet). It's been a trying and difficult season and it's not over yet. But we've been bouyed, fed, continually, by the love of our brothers and sisters, young and old alike, who have worked sacrifically alongside of us, sharing our hope of what's to come. And for that, we give thanks.


Deanna said...

I'm sire you will have that 'home' feeling revived soon. Your home is being restored and rebuilt with love and wonderful memories.

servingHimblind said...

yeah we all had dinner in the cafeteria yesterday. "This is just as bad as I remembered it." I said.
"Sure ain't yer mom's cookin'." Chris replied, and the other two grunted in agreement. ;-)

LaughingLioness said...

It was so fun to have all ya'll here. I'm happy to cook for whatever permutation of you come back!!