Walls That Tell A Story
When visiting my aunt’s house, we were looking around her living room and talking about the many pieces hanging on her walls. Each one was tied to a memory, a story, or a piece of her life. We reminisced on the ones familiar to us both and I asked her about others, learning more about the 70 years represented on those 4 walls. Nothing was there because she just needed to “fill space.” I left her home refreshed and feeling closer to her than I had before - because she used her home to share her life with me. That had me thinking. What if we were more intentional about the way we fill our homes? If the walls that surround us everyday were full of depth and encouragement and thought-provoking stories, could we be better prepared to promote community?
In Deuteronomy, God tells His people how best to infuse His words into their lives:
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates..."
The words of God were to always be in front of the people. That is because what we fill our minds with is what will shape our emotions and actions. If we are intentional to cover our physical walls with words and pictures that inspire us, remind us of truth, and align with our priorities, might we find more opportunities to act on those priorities and live out the message we value?
My desire for the art I create through Handstolearn is that it would be an avenue for you to use to fill your walls and cupboards and shelves with words and pictures that make people stop and think, ask about where you've been, and where you're going. That it wouldn't be enough for our homes to house us, but that they would help us build community. My hope is that as my art enters your homes, it would be used to share traditions, to encourage families, and to invite honesty.
I pray that when you offer a friend a cup of coffee on your couch and they ask about the Steadfast Love design on the mug they're holding, you would share with them the ways that you have witnessed God's unfailing love in your life and why that reminder is meaningful to you. That it would start a real conversation of confession of weaknesses and encouragement in vulnerability. That when they see the painted family portrait hanging in your living room, you would be able to share the highs and lows through the years, and God's faithfulness through it all. I pray that when you struggle under the weight of expectations, and feel discouraged that you'll never fulfill your "life's purpose," you would see the 1 Thessalonians 4 banner hanging above your (probably unmade) bed and be refreshed in the truth that all God calls you to today is to love Him, and love your family. By grace, perhaps we could change our mindset heavenward, and reach our hands toward our community.