My world has been somewhat focused on renovations, lately. And not just because my decrepit kitchen was recently replaced by a shiny new one (thank you, dear landlady!). No, my obsession with renovation came from a writing project that has monopolized my imagination for the better part of the past five months. My new novel takes place in the castle in which I grew up (in Lamorlaye, France) and spans the time it takes for an American-born project supervisor to restore it to its previous glory–while investigating mysterious midnight disturbances linked to a sordid past that dates back to World War II.
And–hurray–I finally submitted it to the publisher yesterday! It’ll be out by August. Now THAT’s cause for celebration! In the process of designing the cover of the new novel, my wonderful graphic artist, Lindsey, took a picture of the castle’s stairwell that I had given her and painstakingly aged it into a photo that evokes both erosion and hope.
And as I spent the past months researching the strategy and effort required for remodeling old buildings, I kept telling myself that there HAD to be a spiritual parallel to the process. Here’s the problem, though. After too many days glued to the manuscript, trying to rid it of any remaining typos, my mind has taken a vacation, and the nifty life-applications I’d planned on sharing have gone the way of sleep hours and calorie counting, in other words, AWOL.
And then I visited this most inspiring site:
It’s an old farm house not far from here (Port Franks, Canada), abandoned years ago. There are still objects on the shelves inside the dilapidated home and the grounds are something of a car and tractor cemetery. I didn’t dare go inside for fear of injury (ceilings and floors have long given out), but I did indulge in taking over 200 pictures through windows and around waist-high weeds, all the while imagining what the house and its surroundings MIGHT look like if they were to be remodeled by a slightly-richer-than-me benefactor.
Again, I was certain that I’d find a meaningful analogy for which the pictures would be an apt illustration, and yet…nothing’s there. Yes, God can take our broken-down-ness and turn it into rebuilt-and-redeemed-ness. Yes, we’re all under construction and attempting to build futures on the rubbles of our past. Yes, it takes divine perspective to see beyond our brokenness and to the potential for healed wholeness. I’m sure you can fill in your own brilliant interpretation, but right now–just this once–I’d like to take a break from philosophizing and let the pictures below do the talking. And by the way, if anyone out there would like to restore the beautiful GMC truck and donate it to a missionary…I’ll take it! And if you have applications/illustrations for the pictures below, PLEASE SHARE THEM!