Making My House Ready

I paint walls...

I prepare my house...

I make my house ready...

I listen to a poem, written by Mary Oliver, which is read by the pastor presiding at Sunday's liturgy. I have not heard it before, but I soak it in... Two days later, I remember the poem and look it up. I realize I have the volume where this poem is found, and also notice it has previously appeared in publications such as America...

Making the House Ready for the Lord

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you. Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice it is the season of their
many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will
come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come in.


I paint walls...

I prepare my house...

I make it ready for the Lord...

A house is not a home - so affirms a song - but I know it has always been a metaphor for the soul...

At least for me...

I have spent the summer mired in house repairs and renovations - most of them unplanned. I have not gone away for a vacation. I had anticipated possibly getting away three times, all of them close to beaches...

And while I do not go anywhere where I can walk for miles by the surf and bury my toes in the sand, and contemplate deeply on the meaning of life, and what I must do next, still my renovations have mostly to do with water... There is a message in here, somewhere...

So I continue to paint walls, and clean, and divest, and repair and replace - doors and roofs - sealing out the elements...

I prepare for whatever is next...

But I know that my house is just a metaphor...

Yes, I am preparing my house...

But I am really making my soul ever ready for the Lord... 

Yes, I am making my soul ready for You...

Come in, come in!
 

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