I was in a woman’s home this morning – a wife of one, a mommy to five almost grown children. She commented, “Just look at all of these things!” – lying around here, cluttering the counter, filling the floor, and otherwise basically taking over the home.
I told her not to worry. I mean, I’m the oldest of five. Certainly I understand.
And then I remembered a time when I adamantly announced to Tyler that we were going straight home from church to de-clutter our home. He looked at me like I had three eyes. With a calm, loving-patience voice he told me, ‘Rachel, we have three people who live in our home.’
Wise man. Wise words.
Now, listen, you may at this point be thinking – both of these women are crazy. Of course in a house filled with seven people plus and dog and it’s Christmas this month, things are going to be taking over the home.
And this young mom who thinks her husband is wise informing her that there are in fact three people not only two (like it had happened a day ago) living in her house must be a very simple, stupid little one.
But the thing is! ….things represent people. When a house becomes a home, it’s because people live there and clutter it with their things. When life starts multiplying and baby grows, things grow in the corner, too.
And those things indicate that precious life lives here.
I know that people have a tendency to love things more than other people; I know people have a tendency to make anything that sits still for seven second their god. Now that’s a problem. But it’s not the things’ fault. It’s the person’s idolatry-problem’s fault.
For the beautiful side of it all, things show that life is on the move. Piles and baskets and trashcans and shopping bags show that movement is all about us.
I for one think this is funny and ironic and even weird that I am the one writing this – and even embracing THINGS – because I have a no junk drawer policy, I LOVE to throw the things away, and I am not a huge lover of things.
But I do love family. And I really like the big ones. Because they’re funnier and remind me that my big family wasn’t totally crazy. When I plan a party, I have a more-the-merrier policy, always wanting to invite everyone I can think of. And I do love people going in and out and life happening all around me. So I suppose if all of that life requires things, then I’m ok with it. Maybe even a little happy.
Now when I step on a toy, pick up socks, clear plates, throw out candy wrappers, or twist not to bump into someTHING, I hope a smile and a prayer for whoever’s thing that is will be my response.
Because precious life lives here.