2017-06-28 - Now You See It; Now You Don't
Nearly four years ago, we had the roof shingles of our house and back porch replaced. Several had flown off, after our area received high winds following a hurricane starting in the gulf coast area. The back porch began to show signs of leaking after the work, and progressed over the last couple years to a near stream of water in some places, in heavy rains. It, nor the house, had any signs of prior leaking and the purpose of the original job was to take care of the missing shingles, begin anew and avoid any future issues. So this summer, my husband and his friend, a licensed contractor, decided to repair that back porch roof that apparently had more issues than reported by anyone involved in the original repair. Upon learning that there were five layers of shingles on it, we were relieved we’d decided to take it off before someone got hurt from a potential collapse. Also, after seeing the porch with no roof, we decided it looked better and changed our plan to just updating the fencing on the deck area and in the back yard, to secure it as a safe place for our new pup to play and hang out with us. Upon removal of the fencing around the deck, the guys discovered the deck had some bowing on the surface, likely due to not using any Quick Crete © around the post poles where it was framed. So the plan changed yet again. We went from having a screened porch, fenced-in deck and a small fenced area of yard below, to a piece of dirt yard behind an open back porch area, and a big hunk of side fence missing. Now you see it; now you don’t!! I took pictures that show the progression of everything disappearing. Three days ago, life was different.
Has your life ever changed in the blink of any eye? One day it looked one way, literally or figuratively, and then the next it was completely different. At first, it’s rather odd and then somehow we begin to acclimate to how things have changed and we develop what can perhaps be described as a new normal. Sometimes it becomes a work in progress too. It could be better or worse, depending on what led to the change, yet either way it shapes us. I was thinking about that deck which was removed, and how our other three prior dogs spent time on it for seven or eight years, and I got my best picture of them sitting on the top step of it leading to the yard. The kids had fun times out on the porch, we had friends, family and youth on it for cookouts, and we all shoveled big piles of snow on it, to make way for tiny dogs to get to their yard, and us to the trash can in storms. We were a little sad the deck needed to be replaced, yet safety is the priority, so we revised our plans and left the rest in God’s hands, as we moved forward. I realize it’s not at all the same when other big changes happen, and we have to maneuver through them. It’s difficult to fully rely on God, when highly unexplainable situations personally affect us. I thought about memories related to the deck we removed, yet the memories were related to people’s lives and not pieces of wood. I think of other memories when we lived at our old house, or yet others when I still lived at home before getting married, yet the memories are connected to the people and critters as part of those households.
I recall a poignant discussion my mother and I had in her home, perhaps six months before she passed away. She wanted to pull out some items she intended for certain people, including me. I remember saying to her “this really sucks,” because I didn’t want her stuff, but loved being with her. She replied “Yes it does, but it’s the hand we were dealt.” And so we continued to talk and share, and she reminded me that “no one said it would be easy.” And that is the part we most often want to skip over in life, understandably so. I know she was in pain, she was sad, likely angry and frightened - along with grateful for family and friends and the life she had lived before, too. God told us, from the beginning, this was not going to be easy; she knew it, as well as why. The fact is: it even grieved him to make man flesh and (“And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:6)) it was because he’d made the perfect place for his creation, and he knew humankind would be a painful path for us and for him. This was evidenced in a series of things set in motion to bring us back to him. So we live with so much that is “now you see it, now you don’t,” and then when we least expect it, God will give us exactly what we need and even desire. And ultimately, we will have so much more when we are back with him for good. So in the meantime, we do what we can to help each other along the way. Remember, when it grieves you, it also grieves the Father. If it didn’t, he wouldn’t have sent his son.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.“ (James 4:14 NIV)
All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.