Saturday, April 14, 2007


In the past few weeks, my house has gained a new bathroom, new paint, and most recently, refinished hardwood floors.

All this change is making me anxious.

Yes, it's change for the good. No, it's not the lead-up to selling the house and moving somewhere new, though I do have those thoughts and I do sometimes voice them as a threat inside this brick English bungalow, a great starter home in always-desirable Oak Park.

Living here is like wearing new clothes--the sort of new clothes you purchase for an interview or speech. Who am I, I wonder when I am all dressed up. Who is the person who lives within these new yellow walls, with the refinished hardwood floors and the blue bathroom? What's with the pretty surroundings?

The old and comfy mess of our house is in retreat. The kids' bedrooms still have dirty walls and worn floors. The back room, the one with the desks and computer, is full of the usual paper and books, plus stuff from the front rooms that has been stashed there, out of the way of the painters and floor sanders. The pictures will eventually go back on the walls. The stacks of music and magazines--well, I guess now is when we find out what we really need and what we can get rid of.

Did I mention that the piano is in the kitchen? And the kitchen may be slated for an overhaul?

Transformation is hard, whether it's home or self. It's not like St. Paul in I Corinthians saying that we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. That is then--on the day when the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. Now we have to put on Christ anew each day, over and over again, like donning a new wardrobe or learning to live in a new environment. It's uncomfortable at times. How off-balance did those disciples feel after their encounters with the risen Christ? Probably a lot worse than I do when stepping around the piano to get to the dishwasher.

Christ's resurrected body could pass through locked doors. Yet Thomas could touch the wounds in his hands. What possibilities await us?

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