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  • Sarah Raad

Houses

“‘In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?’” (John 14:2).

The Glorification of Saint Felix and Saint Adauctus (Carlo Innocenzo Carlone)

I was browsing through the newspaper the other day, trying to avoid all the silly articles about “naked dresses” and celebrity “click-bait” when I stumbled upon an article about a beautiful house in Sydney that was up for sale.


The house was magnificent. There it was situated on sprawling acreage, overlooking magnificent green fields with the most beautiful, manicured garden that I had ever seen. It was a gorgeous sandstone structure – the kind that you dream about when you imagine a mansion – with romantically sprawling vines all the way along the outside of the house.


Inside the house was truly amazing. Each room had been decorated in a way that gave it a modern and unique character. There were wonderful views through every window… The architect who designed the house had obviously been well paid for their time.


All the finishes in the house were marvellous. There were stone and natural timber finishes and spectacular wallpaper on the walls and different feature walls with paint and newly renovated showers and bathrooms. And that does not include the fireplace, the pool and pool-house, the tennis courts, and the shed – which was renovated like a granny flat and was surely just a little bit larger and nicer and more luxurious than the home that my family and I live in.


All in all, it was a very beautiful house.


I remember when my husband and I were searching for our current house some time ago. Our budget was tiny and we knew that we would have to take whatever we could get. We too looked at some lovely homes, but when the time came to actually buy a place, we ended up with the a house that needed a total renovation – it took my husband years to tidy it up and make it liveable while we all lived inside it!


I have been thinking about that magnificent house that I read about in the newspaper the other day – the sort of house a person can only dream of and someone like me would never ever own or live in. And it occurs to me that though I shall never live in such a house in this life, I have a room waiting for me in the next one…


You see, Christ said…

“‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am.…’” (John 14:1-3).

…There are many rooms in His Father’s house…


Reflecting on these words of Christ, I think about house-hunting – for after all, our lives here on Earth are effectively a form of house-hunting as we seek out the best room in our Father’s House in Heaven…


Some people – like my very good friend – enjoy house hunting. They like driving around and looking at all the different options available to them and they know that there is fun in the adventure and the unknown and they have confidence that they will one day find their home and they have faith in the entire process.


Others – like me – hate change and detest house-hunting! We are the people who drag our feet and just want the whole experience to be over with. It is a torture for us. It takes up our time and it eats into our comfort and not only is it completely inconvenient, it is also a frightening experience in a way because we are constantly anticipating the horrors of the actual move itself from one house to the next.


Life is like this too for people with and without faith.


People with faith are like the happy house-hunters. They trust that whatever they experience in this life is part of the process of moving into the room prepared for them in their Father’s House. And when such souls see life as a process of moving, all suffering can be offered up for the greater good. After all, the pain of moving is well worth it if the house that you end up living in is a mansion beyond compare.


But people without faith are the reluctant house-hunters. They worry about each step of their journey, and they really dread that move. They think ahead to the move – which is really their death – and they reflect with horror on the future, which they can neither control nor maintain and which stresses them and robs them of the joy of the journey. After all, the pain of the move is all one can focus on when a person has no real mental image of where it is that they are actually moving to…


And so, as I pray my prayers in these days and nights, it occurs to me that I should focus on the room that is awaiting me, in my Father’s House – because nothing is more important than that!


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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