In the month of February, I challenged myself to write an eight-line alliteration poem every day, going alphabetically. I was inspired by Psalm 119, which in Hebrew, is an acrostic poem consisting of every line starting with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. “How cool,” I thought, “to write my own personal Psalm 119!” Sounded fun, artsy, and full of Godly meditation. So I started racking up some lists of words to use for each letter, and have written poems crammed with as much alliteration as possible. It’s been as fun as I predicted.
Some poems have definitely been flops. (Would never share those.) But others have starkly hit me right where I needed it. Like today’s “G” poem. I hemmed and hawed this morning, erased and scratched, and finally eventually penciled out a poem comparing and contrasting gold with God. I thought it was pretty good. I was somewhat proud of it.
And then the day henced forwarded, life happened, and my G poem was long forgotten, buried away in the pages of my journal. I cleaned the house, avoided parenting, worked out, picked up a prescription, and whizzed home right in the knick of time to meet Mary Jane, a realtor coming to look at our beloved, treasured, abode.
“HALT! Wait a second??” you ask, “A realtor??”
Yes. A realtor. I guess my mom found a post on Facebook that a realtor was looking for a home for a client with the exact description of our home (like creepily EXACT). The buyer seemed very willing and eager to buy and to pay over asking price. So Bobby called her up, and we scheduled a very casual visit for her to check out our house.
Bobby and I doubted the entire ordeal. We predicted it was probably just some real-estate agent’s bait to try to lure in some new clients. We thought it was probably a fluke. Selling our house couldn’t possibly be this easy. But it seemed worthwhile to explore the option. If her client was willing to pay far more than we would list it, then why not give it a whirl?
Yet, although I had my doubts, I still was convicted to pray. I have been delving into the topic of prayer, and have lamented my in-general prayerlessness. So, I lifted this whole ordeal up to the Lord. I asked that he would allow us to sell our house!
Now, back to today. Mary did come over, and three hours later, convinced us her client would most definitely put an offer on our house. “I could almost say 100% he is going to want this,” she said as she snapped informal pictures and raised her eyebrows approvingly at all our updates. We talked business and details, and she left us with some things to think over.
Not even an hour later, we heard that her client wanted to see the house ASAP. Things were getting… a little serious here!
We are dumbfounded. We could actually sell our house… like right now. No staging. No listing. No showings. No researching realtors. No waiting. No nothing. It seems too good to be true.
And now I sit here, wishing I was more thankful than I am. Is not God beginning to answer our prayer? Isn’t this what I wished and wanted and prayed for? So why do I feel… regretful?
It’s because I love this stinkin’ house. This summer, after doing some hard core exterior and yard work, I turned to Bobby and said, “Well, I think we successfully have left no area of our house untouched. We’ve made everything our own.” And that, my friends, is why I am not as thankful as I wish I was. I feel sad. I feel stingy. I feel something that I have crafted, and perfected; this entity that I put energy, thought, time, and my own personal touch on, might now, finally, be no longer mine.
This guy, if he buys our house, is going to look at OUR sunsets. This guy is going to make dinner on OUR countertops. This guy is going to park his car on OUR new driveway. Is he going to clean our refurbished bathroom? Is he going to vacuum our carpets? Will he enjoy our new dishwasher? Is he going to know all the work we put into everything?!
And then I re-read my poem.
Oh, how easily I let gold grip me. How easily I let gold convince me of its lies. How easily I grasp gold, as if it will gain me glory and satisfaction. Conviction seeps into my greedy heart quicker than a coin dropping into a murky pond. I’m a hypocrite. I am not even on-guard against the morale of my very own poem!
My fists are white-knuckle gripped to this darn house. And now, my fingers are starting to loosen. And how do I respond to the open palm? I could leave Shawnee Road, looking back with longing eyes, storing up resentment, that I am being pried away from it. Or, I could leave Shawnee Road, looking toward heaven, knowing that in God, I have everything I ever need and more.
How I wish looking toward heaven came quicker! How I wish I was not attached to stuff, trinkets, possessions, and my own little man-made kingdom. How I pray that God’s kingdom would come AND a heart that went joyously along with it. How I pray that the Lord would produce in me abundant thanksgiving for this home as well as for leaving it. How I pray that the Lord would rid my temporal longings and replace them with eternal ones.
And it’s funny too, because I knew we would sell this house when we signed up for seminary. So it shouldn’t be a shock to me. The greed and stuff-love should have abated when we signed the dotted line. Leaving it earlier than expected isn’t a big deal, but it’s just the fact that now—finally, actually, literally—the next big step is before us. I have to actually deal with my heart. I am face to face with the cost of our call. We are living out the follow-through. And, boy, am I praying through it! Praying for faith. Praying for holiness. Praying for eyes that don’t look to the left or to the right, but directly forward, to the joy and peace of doing crazy God things, because I call myself one of those crazy God-followers.
And we haven’t even sold the house yet!
I think I have a long road ahead of me. I think I have a lot of conviction yet to behold. And, boy does conviction have such a sweet taste to it. It’s hard. It wrenches your heart, but it feels so good to know that God searches and knows every nook and cranny of our hearts, and acts to make us more like him.
I’ll take God. You can have the gold.