Thursday, February 4, 2010


A few years ago the word was out that Gary & I wanted to build a guest house with old lumber. We were approached about dismantling a partially burned home in exchange for whatever lumber we could use. We had no idea of all that the Lord had in store for us in agreeing to this offer.

Upon entering their home, I considered the memories that this family must have had in each and every room. I felt somewhat guilty as if I were about to strip all of that away from them.

I fought back tears as my mind was flooded with memories which I didn’t realize lingered in my heart. Although it has been forty years ago, I recalled, as if it were yesterday, the day that I stood before the rubble of my childhood home. The owner had told momma that she and her six children could live in this old one-room schoolhouse rent free for as long as we needed. It wasn’t much, but grandpa helped fix it up and it was home to us. As Gary & I examined this family’s tragic scene, I was quickly reminded of what it is like to smell the smoldering of my family’s home and personal possessions.

While laboring to salvage what was left of this family’s home, at times it seemed as though I could hear mamma crying in the next room while writing letters to her three oldest in Viet Nam, informing them that nothing was saved from the ravages of the fire. At age ten, I felt helpless. Yet, it seemed that the opportunity to obtain resources from this family’s home could somehow make it possible to redeem something even greater. Needless to say, the work was difficult in more ways than one!

Unknowledgeable about how to accomplish our dream and who to ask for help, all of these precious resources laid waiting under tattered tarps. Fearing that they would be ruined, we even offered to give them away at one point. I’m thankful that the Lord’s plans are far greater than ours and His timing is always perfect!

Floyd Plank and his Amish family have become very dear friends to us. Being excellent carpenters, Floyd and his sons agreed to build our dream while teaching us along the way. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly, for us anyway! Our ignorance must have been exasperating; yet they willingly offered ideas, listened to ours and patiently helped us to see them through.

Throughout this process, although I didn’t fully understand why, I felt like I was on a mission which had more in store than simply completing a building. It was weeks of concentrated effort, yet with each and every scraped window, planed board and positioned beam there was an unexplainable joy in the labor
beyond the fun of working with the Planks.

While we weren’t able to salvage it all,
the beautiful tongue n’ groove boards, hand-hewn beams,
walnut stair rail, cathedral window and ornate doors
from this devastated home found their perfect place in our
rustic, yet beautiful guest house.
Completed this fall, it is more than we ever dreamed of!

Although we don’t know all that the Lord has in mind, we believe that His desire for this building is to be filled with years of love and fellowship amongst His people. Is there a better way to replace “what the locusts have eaten?”


No comments:

Post a Comment