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Posts Tagged ‘history’


As I scanned my collection of Italian vacation photos, I came to a clear and obvious conclusion …

I have a thing for doors and windows.

Every location that I visited had images of doors, shutters and iron rails represented in the daily photo album.

But why?

Visual beauty, for certain, as they caught my eye long enough for a photo to be taken, but there was more.

As the doors and windows, shutters and iron gates caught my attention, I was unable to resist the next step. Oh yes, I frequently reached for my camera, but, more frequently, I simply reached out my hand.

I touched the grain of the wood, stone or iron. Often, I would close my eyes and imagine the hands that touched, as did my own, through dozens and hundreds of years. The years of history that went through these passageways might include warriors, the wealthy, the downtrodden, politicians, people famous in their field, and people who lived simple lives.

History can be felt, as it can be seen, or heard, or even smelled.

I live in a place in our world that lusts for what is new. Homes that age beyond fifty years, are viewed as dispensable, replaceable. Today’s home buyers are not looking for ‘pre-owned homes’, but new construction, with nothing from the past, nothing to do, but move in. Established, older homes are upgraded, updated and features such as doors replaced.

History is replaced, disposed of, never to be thought of again.

And so we turn our backs on historical architecture, but we also turn our backs on our history.

It has been said that if we forget our history, we are bound to repeat it.

 

In the movie Jackie (about Jackie Kennedy), Jackie said, in the movie, “objects and artifacts last far longer than people, and they represent important ideas, history, identity, beauty.”

History is not just the events that happened in the past, it is the people, places and all that surrounded the the events. History is in every nook and cranny of our world, and every thing tells a part of the story from beginning to end.

“Remember your history,
    your long and rich history.
I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—
    incomparable, irreplaceable—
From the very beginning
    telling you what the ending will be,
All along letting you in
    on what is going to happen,
Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul,
    I’ll do exactly what I set out to do,’”
Isaiah 46:9-10

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As I read and re-read the title of an article, in a Canadian Christian publication I was aghast! Not that someone would have the view, but that such a view would be printed in a Christian publication, for it’s readers to interpret as the voice of a learned Biblical scholar … of a lover of the Christ whose name we claim.

The entire title of the article was, “Unlearning the Bible to Welcome Homosexuals.”

There is a great misconception in this author’s assumption … that a church has to unlearn the Bible to welcome homosexuals.

To that I say, nay nay!

The Bible is VERY clear that God’s second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27), which is pretty closely linked to the Golden Rule of do to others what you would have them do to you (Matthew 7:12). And it does not indicate that we should only love certain neighbors. So, with that biblical background of the second most important commandment, from the lips of the Son of God, himself … I do not believe that to welcome homosexuals (or anyone else) means we need to unlearn the Bible.

The Bible can be a very complex book, full of what might seem to the casual reader, contradictions.

It is a book full of poetry, history, genealogies, prophesies and fulfillment of those prophesies. It is a book of :

  • love and hate
  • war and peace
  • unification and separation
  • creation and destruction
  • birth and death
  • gentleness and harshness

It is history … HIS … STORY

and we, who claim HIS name,

are the HIS … STORY students, followers, believers.

If the editors of this ‘christian’ publication are willing to print an article, which questions the very authoritative foundation of the Christian faith … the Word itself … then who or what do they believe our authority to be?

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I need to make a disclaimer …

I am not a learned Biblical scholar. I have never formally studied the Bible.

But this I do know, as one who pours over it daily :

the Bible is a better authority than science (Isaiah 40:22, tells us that “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth” … no flat Earth society in these pages),

and the Bible is definitely an authority with more longevity than I, with an eighty-five year lifespan!

IF

the Bible is not our authority … then who is?

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Gothic Revival.

Just over one hundred years old.

Approximately 19,000 square feet.

Mostly twelve foot ceilings.

Selling for the low price of $700,000.
(less than my own home was recently assessed at)

Plus … this house is located halfway between where all of my kids grandparents live … not more than one half hour drive either way. It’s perfect!

I love older homes and buildings.

They are examples of how short our human existence is and how long human impact can last, they are evidence of the local history, and they provide examples of having an eye that goes beyond simply function.

For me, to walk into a building or home that has outlived it’s builders, is to walk on something similar to holy ground … each step of my own, onto the floor boards of those who laid it’s foundation.

Still, to purchase an older building is to put a down payment on something that will never be completely revived without great cost, great sacrifice. Most often, it is simply cheaper and less headache to simply tear it all down, and lay a new foundation.

But, there is still a great cost, in doing that which is cheaper, easier.

History would be lost … of the previous owners, occupants, and their stories, as well as history of the community as a landmark, and as a reflection of the building materials of the area. Buildings of years past were craftsmanship at every corner with carved dates in the cornerstone, floors of native wood and stone, stairways trimmed with extensive, native wood trim, and windows leaded stained glass.

I hope this lovely castle sells to someone who not only sees it as a real estate purchase, but also a purchase of history and an opportunity to redeem what has been lost while it has sat vacant, while it has been damaged by vandals.

That castle could be a metaphor for us, in our human condition.

The plans for our lives were in production before the groundbreaking of our conception. We were built with great care and craftsmanship. Each and every nook and cranny designed with purpose … not just for function, but also simply to reflect the beauty and wisdom of the designer.

Over time dust has settled on us, we have been damaged by those who left scars, and we may just feel and appear as though our best years were ones that have already past.

But, with the right purchaser we could shine again … refreshed, polished … redeemed as new.

May we all accept the offer to purchase, the offer to redeem our lives, by the One who created us in the first place.

“Joy is a flag flown high from the castle of my heart,
for the King is in residence there”

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