Sunday, June 21, 2009
When bought our home almost five years ago, we learned that it was custom built for the first owners--a much loved local pastor and his wife. Occasionally we'd meet new neighbors who would say something like, "Oh yes. You bought the "holy house." We figured it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the previous owners. It seemed like a reasonable assumption, given their line of work. What we did know for certain is that this house, this piece of property, drew us from the moment we'd seen it. There was something about it, beyond the fact it is well-built and beautifully situated on a hill overlooking an almost hidden little valley, and backs up to breathtaking 2,000 acre oak-studded ranch . . . with sunsets that hint of paradise. An almost inexplicable sense of serenity and peace seeped into us from the moment we first saw the house and continues to this day. I don't know how many times we've said to each other, "We know why that pastor chose this site . . . it's like a slice of Heaven."
And then we did some re-modeling, lifted the flooring, and found what you see in the photos above. Scripture, written by an entire congregation at a gathering to bless this house after the foundation was poured. Every room, even the closets, have favorite verses chosen and penned onto the cement slab with felt tip markers . . . by everyone from the home builder to children with barely legible scrawls, to entire families. All with the same heartfelt wish, "Bless this house."
It was a incredible discovery . . . and the perfect explanation for something we always feel. This house is blessed, built on the very best of foundations.
Interestingly, on a side note, when I was working on the first draft of CRITICAL CARE, my very first inspirational novel, I came to the point where I was searching to give voice to the story's theme. It was about hope, I knew that, but I wanted to capture it perfectly in words . . . I needed to portray it exactly right. And then I remembered that there was one Scripture reference carved into the cement out on the patio--a cornerstone, I'm sure:
"Jer. 29:11" :
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It was there all along. The theme of the story. For the book I never knew I'd be writing. In the house that called to us.
Now I'd call that a Plan, wouldn't you?