This is a simple story of a simple family trying to slow down this crazy life and enjoy the "moments"...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Empty Spaces...

So here's an interesting story.

There is a house in a galaxy far far away our old neighborhood that was pretty severely damaged by the tornado.

It still has some walls standing....but you can't tell by looking at it if it's "total-able" or repairable.  

It's still full of all the furniture (and everything else one fills their home with) that it had before the tornado.....although most of that is probably ruined by now.

On one side of the house is a home that sustained minor damage and is now fixed with a family of 5 living in it.

On the other side is a home that was demolished but is now close to the dry-wall-stage of completion so the family can move back into it soonish.

But....there in the middle....sits the smashed up moldy nasty ugly stinky shell of a house.

Yes....almost 8 months later.

Word in the 'hood is that the owners collected their insurance money and wiped their hands of the whole mess.
(and it a mess!)

Now no one can find them and therefore no one (inlcuding neighbors and the city workers who are supposed to make sure that all the tornado junk is removed and fixed) can determine what their plan is for this property.

(And as an aside....why didn't anyone tell me about THAT option of coping post tornado????  You're sayin' that my family and I could be living in a beautiful straw hut on a white beach with umbrella drinks and fresh scallops for dinner?  And not have to deal with any insurance/home finding/clean-up/cookie cutter locating junk?  Seriously?  How did I miss that memo?!?!  Dang.)

Word in the 'hood is that a group of people have moved into this destroyed house.

Apparently they occasionally pose as "builders" and stick their heads out of a tarp and hammer something for a few minutes, then duck back in.

But there is no building permit on the house and not a whit of demolition or reconstruction has been done.  
Just occasional random hammering.

Neighbors have called the police on a daily basis but nobody answers the cops' knocking and since it's "private property" the police can't go inside.  (Apparently even walking over the knocked down wall rubble is considered "entering".)  

So....this group of people is just....
living there.

Harmlessly from what I've heard.

Now this post isn't being made to say that this kind of habitation is right or wrong.
Really I just find the story interesting on several counts:
1.  People actually exist who can just walk away without any sense of responsibility or closure.
2.  The city (who has cracked down HARD CORE in so many areas) is allowing this obvious health hazzard to stand.
3.  These people try to look like builders instead of just hiding.
4.  The uncanny parallel it has to the story in Matthew 12:43-35.

More on #4. 

In a nutshell, a guy was possessed by a demon.

By the power of Christ, the demon was expelled from this guy.

This guy left the "place" that the demon had been staying (you could consider it his heart or his mind) empty...just perhaps being grateful that the nasty thing was gone, but not necessarily trying to find something good to take its' place.

Then the demon wandered back to this dude to see how he was handling things.
This demon took a peek inside our guy...and saw that the place was still empty and quite ready to be inhabited he grabbed a big 'ol group of his buddies and set up an awful demonic commune inside this guy's heart.

How very easily bad yucky and nasty things can seep in and fill our empty spaces.

(NOTE:  I have NEVER met the people supposedly living in this house....they may or may not be mean and yucky....this is NOT a commentary on that group of folk who have taken advantage of a situation and don't appear to be causing any harm.  Disclaimer understood?  Great! :))

Think about it though.

You finally break ties with a person you KNOW wasn't good for you.
Now you're lonely.
If you can't quickly find a good solid person to spend time with....
It's pretty easy to just fill that empty spot with the next available person (or same old person) who gives you attention.

You finally give up a bad habit.
Now you're bored or antsy or jittery.
If you don't find something new and good and solid to do with your time....
It's pretty easy to just slip back into the habit that filled your time and gave you satisfaction in the first place.

You finally let go of a grudge or hurtful memory.
Now you're trying not to dwell on or think about it anymore.
If you don't find good new solid experiences and create new memories....
It's pretty easy to find yourself digging up the old feelings you thought you'd buried deeply away.

It's a fact.
If something stays empty too long....
It will be filled.

(Might be a scientific vacuum theory regarding that too...)

Think of that one kitchen cupboard you were SO excited about because it was EMPTY and you've NEVER had extra space before.
Betcha it's filled now.
With junk, if you're like me.

And if it's not filled with something useful and organized and good (still going with the kitchen cupboard analogy here...) then you just throw some random tupperware tops or corn-on-the-cob-holders in "for safe keeping" and before you know it it's nothing but another "junk cupboard".


Fill the space.

Joplin's doing it.
Look at all of the amazing new buildings  literally popping up all over this flattened town.

Let go of a grudge....
And pray for that person instead.

Let go of a bad habit....
And read that novel you've always wanted to.

Stop reliving bad memories...
And go call an old friend.

Don't give into the temptation to call "The Jerky One" because you're lonely....
Call me and we'll go for Shake's.

I realize that those people moved into that half-house because it was somewhere that looked available and appealing to them.

I am going to try and look closely at myself...
Find the parts that are broken or unhealthy...
Try and let them go....
Then work to find the things that God wants me to fill those places with.....
....and do it.

Being empty doesn't last.
Eventually we will "fill up"....
And I for one choose not to waste my time cleaning spaces out just to have them fill up with more "junk".

Life's too short.

Let the good times roll.

Heck...MAKE the good times roll....

...and choose to fill up on those good things.

And stop the random hammering.

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