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The air is warm, but the light slants a bit now.  The trees bordering the driveway sport yellow leaves as of this week.  Something about the breeze makes today feel like the first day of fall.

Jonathon’s finishing up the paint on our house this weekend.  The back side, away from regular viewing, didn’t get finished last month.  We ran out of paint and time.  He’s been working on it, little by little, yanking off old siding and putting on new.  The rotted spots had to be replaced with fragrant cedar shingles. Then priming those new shingles. And now, painting the whole smash.

“How’s it going?” I asked.  I peeked around the back side of the house. Glistening yellow shingles greeted me.

“It’s going well. I gotta get up under the dormer,” a yellow-speckled Jonathon informed me.

It’s turned out to be a labor-intensive project.  Our house, last painted in the 80s, sorely needed the TLC of a new paint job.  Consequently, the siding soaked up the fresh paint like an enormous wooden sponge.

Rex, freaked out by the drone of the sprayer, skulked off into the woods.  Do they make cat Xanax?

We’re like this old house.  We’re constantly under renovation. Yellow traffic lights mean slow down. Sometimes we might even be surrounded by yellow police tape:  authorized personnel only.  Life beats on us, causing external and internal damage.  We patch at the visible damage with facelifts, weight loss, and updated wardrobes. We dab at scars with makeup.  We smile at the world through our pain.

Even now, I hear Jonathon hammering away at some wayward shingle.  They must be stuck down tight, staggered just so, to keep out the elements. The whole house shakes and the windows rattle in protest.

What do we do about the inside work?  We take it to God.  He can gently rip off the rotting slats we’ve held onto to keep the damaged parts safe. He can use insight and wisdom of others to help us work through the tattered finery of our painful experiences. His word cuts through the excuses we hide behind to protect ourselves from new injuries. Our old ways of thinking about ourselves and others get stripped away.  In return, he hands us the glowing, variegated coverings of His love, peace and joy.  He whispers, “I will never leave your nor forsake you. You are my bride, my beloved.”

Will we let Him in? He’s knocking even now. Do you feel your house shaking? He longs to restore and repair.  We may be vulnerable and broken for a little while.  That’s okay. It will pass. It takes time to heal. Take this season to soak in His love. Rest assured, He will put you back together again.

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. – Psalm 147:3

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