[Written by Christine Cox]
The ‘street-scape’ outside our office has changed. Where once I saw hills of Hoover, now houses to be homes. For years we saw the open field and wondered when the construction would commence. Plans were on the books, but nothing had been happening. Then one day I saw the ‘tools’ in place: trucks, pipes, and more trucks. It was interesting to observe this change –gradual but yet in another way, it was quick.
For days on end, trucks were going back and forth moving dirt which, from my perspective, I wondered why so long, how could the crew tolerate the monotony of back and forth – looked done to me; but, they saw something I didn’t. Then the precision of building! Everything was done so methodically – the measuring, the laying of a solid foundation, the hammering, the drilling, the brick-laying ‘dance’ – it seemed like a choreographed crew of four bricklayers. Almost in unison, a repetitive motion of scooping up and smoothing out cement on the wall and then with the other hand, laying a brick; a workflow supported by yet another man heaving piles of wet cement onto the bricklayers’ work platform.
Having never built anything, it is quite amazing to witness!
Actually, we all ‘build.’
Like the houses going up across the street, our ‘house’ needs a solid foundation.
Some of us may have been blessed with a foundation of a loving childhood home; others, experienced struggles, turmoil, and setbacks. Unlike the houses, we have an opportunity to correct a misaligned ‘plumb-line of life’ but only if we have Christ in our hearts and truly trust Him. For if our ‘house’ is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20) “we will not be shamed” and our ‘plumb line’ will be righted and healed. (1 Peter 2:6,24).
Just as the houses across the street go up brick by brick laid against the meticulous framework, with some bricks cast aside if defective, ‘our house’ is also laid brick by brick. Each of our life experiences is a brick, a building block. Some experiences cause us to grow like trees planted by streams of water, yielding much love, joy, peace (Ps 1; Galatians 5:22), in both times of happiness and in times of suffering. Yet, some experiences, we simply need to cast aside and remember that Jesus Christ heals all our wounds. (Isaiah 53)
This, however, requires work and cooperation. As I watch the construction crew, each had its particular role, cooperating with each other, not moving ahead or falling behind. We too need to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling…without grumbling” (Philippians 2:12) In 1 Peter 2, Saint Peter gives the specifics of putting away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander; abstain from passions of the flesh; keeping honorable conduct, living as servants of God.’ This can only be achieved if we cooperate with God’s fundamental plan for mankind – first, to love Him with all your heart, soul and mind and love others as yourself, so simply said by our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 22:37-39).
I now look forward to the experience of meeting new neighbors across the street, inviting them to God’s house of worship, worshiping Him together every Sunday morning; encouraging them to grow in Truth of His Word, to live out the Gospel in our community and to serve Him by serving one another.