Our first….home?…. I use that term loosely, was a tiny apartment that was part of a four-plex of red brick apartments. The location was in the armpit of Wichita. Not far from the hospital where I went to school. And the most deciding factor for living there? It was cheap. We were poor.
Lots of experiences at that dwelling. Our car was broken into overnight while parked in the alley right next to our bedroom window which was open during the night. (Because our window AC didn’t work and it was stinking hot) The thief stole our 8-tracks. Artists like Simon & Garfunkel, The Carpenters, Three Dog Night, Chicago. And the after-market speakers that were installed in the back seat. Precious stuff, I tell ya. They did leave the hubby’s tennis shoes on top of the car. Probably as a calling card type clue that something had happened inside. We were small town country folk who grew up in a town where not only did we leave our doors unlocked all the time, there actually were no locks on the doors. In fact in the summer when I was a kid, I can recall sleeping some nights with the front door WIDE OPEN all night and the window open on the screen door. We had no AC, period.
The brick four-plex is now boarded up and uninhabitable. It had become an unsafe dwelling. I would imagine it was unsafe due to its crumbling structure as well as being a hotbed of crime. Hotbed is an interesting word choice. We shared a bedroom wall with a woman who entertained for a living in the apartment next door. I shall say nothing further on that matter.
And so it came to pass that we decided not to dwell there anymore.
We chose to leave that first apartment and move to the east side of town in a slightly bigger but still super modest (translated: cheap) duplex. Next door lived a very elderly woman. Perfect.
And we had learned from experience to lock our car doors at night and shut our windows.
Although we occasionally shared stories about life in our newly-married domicile, we didn’t dwell there any longer. We took the knowledge, the wisdom of experience, and moved on. Held on to the good memories. All two of them. 🤣😉 We only lived there about six months. Quick learners, huh?
Over the years we’ve lived in maybe nine different homes. It doesn’t matter where those homes were or how nice they were, in each home there have been deeply awful experiences in addition to really happy times. Of course. Isn’t that the norm for all of us?
And those painful experiences can destroy us. But only if we let them. It all rests on where your mind decides to dwell. It’s a choice. Albeit difficult at times.
How very easy it is to replay scenes of hurtful words, mean actions, shattered hearts. Over and over and over again, telling your story to anyone who will listen. And allowing your pitiful story to consume your every thought. For me, it’s even worse when I recall mean stuff I’ve said and done. Let those ugly scenes loop in my mind over and over.
Can we let it go? It’s all forgiven. Jesus dropped the charges when he went to the Cross. God has forgiven AND forgotten our sin. Your sin, my sin, our sin.
Being the victim of theft is no picnic, but we were lucky. We lost items that would become obsolete and useless within a matter of several months. Eight-track tapes, for crying out loud!! Just temporary stuff. News for you: IT’S ALL TEMPORARY!! All the ickiness of life, all the people who have hurt you, uh…. even….all the people who haven’t hurt you. Those you love. You!! Me!! We’re all temporary in this world.
So….where do you dwell? The last few words of the 23rd Psalm say: “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Let’s move into that house now!! Make Him our dwelling place. Jesus is willing to dwell in even the scariest hearts.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1)
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:1)