There is a house just around the corner from us that has caught, and has been able to effectively keep, my attention. It’s a bit worn down, really pretty trashed, actually. There is usually rubbish in the yard, sheets in the windows, and a dingy, dark feel. I often find myself praying for whoever lives there – it just seems as though there is a need there.
A few months back, we drove by to a yard full of personal items – clothes, shoes, boxes, an easy chair – all strewn across the porch and yard. It absolutely looked like the end result of a domestic dispute and screamed chaos and anger. In the window was a sign –
“You stole from me!”
There were other words but I never stopped to read the whole thing.
Nothing changed for weeks, until about a month ago when the front yard was mysteriously picked up. Same dingy curtains. Same darkness. Continued prayers.
Yesterday we drove by and someone had built a frame and posted a sign facing the street. Big, bold, red letters emblazon a plain white piece of poster board.
“Come home, Mary.”
I began to think about the people involved in that story. Imagined the regret of one, as he began to see what life without Mary was like. I doubt he had given any thought to what he was communicating to her in his anger. And I wondered about Mary. What part had she played? Had she really stolen from him? What signals/messages had she been giving during their time together?
Of course, I have my biased opinions about what did take place, but those are of no consequence. As it pertains to my own life, I choose to ponder what kind of signs are in my “yard.” What kind of messages I am sending. Through my words, actions, body language… I might put a sign out that says, “I love you,” while the smaller sign says, “I have no time for you.” Or, “I have no patience for who you are or what you want to share.” As much as I feel like I share my love and affection, it might not always come across the way I hope.
What messages are you sending? Do they line up with who you truly are? Everybody can use a little tweaking now and again. A fresh perspective. Our relationships are too valuable to leave things up to chance. And I don’t ever want to have to put out a sign begging those I love to come home…