Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home Improvement: God as Interior Decorator

     I like contemplating the verse from John 15:7 (NKJV): “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
     Two or three months ago when I was at Mass at the Pastoral Center, Fr. Nott explained where the verb “abide” comes from and what it implied for that day’s readings. His explanation has helped me delve deeper into this verse. He told us that “abide” was derived from the noun “abode” which we know to be home or dwelling. So in this verse from the Gospel of John, the Lord is giving two conditions in the first part that we must make our home inside of God, and we need to allow His words to dwell within us.
     I find it comforting to think about being totally surrounded, completely encompassed by God in mind, body, and spirit. His law and love can’t remain outside of us; we’ve got to have them engraved in our hearts.      When we make a dwelling place feel more like home, it often requires that we clean and somehow transform the space to make it suit our needs and who we are, what we like, etc. We devote time, energy, thought, space, and money in order to create a sense of comfort, a sense of home.
     For God’s words to make their home inside of us, some junk needs to be removed. A period of cleansing is necessary. Priorities may be moved around more often than furniture and knickknacks for a time. The hateful graffiti messages sprayed on the wall will need to be scrubbed off so there are proper places to display God’s masterpieces.
     Only when we get to the point when we allow God to be the interior decorator of our homes, of our hearts and souls, will the splendor of the inside of our humble abodes match the beauty of the outside He’s created in His image.
     As we become more accustomed to God renovating, remodeling, and redecorating, the more likely it will be that our own suggestions and requests for improvements won’t clash with the décor He has in mind for our interior castles. They will match and be in line with what He wants, so He will make them happen. Though the timing for the project’s completion may not be at all what we had in mind, fortunately, the end result will always turn out better than we could have envisioned it.
     Lord, help us to live within You and embrace all it takes and means for You to live within us. Amen.
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