We join a group of others who are waiting to see the interior of a grand old house.
Walking inside, the guide leads us through the dining room and into the foyer. I am captured by the wooden carvings on the walls, staircase, built-in shelves. I run my finger along the smooth, golden brown staircase and climb up.
I quietly listen to the guide tell us the history of the home and a few stories attached. Over a hundred years old… he liked to smoke pipes, which is why the wood color is affected in the study… the furniture is original… the marble is from Italy… 20,000 square feet… 12,000 square feet for the servants quarters…lovely stained glass… after the owner moved out, the Archdiocese moved in… changed this and that… turned one section into a little chapel…and more that I simply can’t remember. (Pictures were not allowed inside).
My friend whispers aloud what I’m thinking…the imagining, the what-if the house is my own, and I hear how she’d decorate… and I dare to dream it for myself, and we bask in our own little dreams, our escapade from the real homes we inhabit. We, a group of women, grown-up, marveling at the beauty of a dwelling and dreaming a little grown-up princess dream. But we can only look at the carved cabinetry, the gracious chairs, and the coffered ceilings; we may not touch, nor sit. We may only be spectators.
Few of us really would live in a house like that. But there is no jealousy, from me, or from the friends. I enjoy the walk, the dream, the wonder, and realize that someone else lived in the dream about a hundred years ago. And I’m glad they did.
Were their lives that much different than mine? Full of ups and downs? In desperate need of a Savior, too? Rich and poor, servant and headmaster, all were in need of saving grace. Whether housed in birch wood or wispy grass, we all need Him, the world over, each generation.
I walk on pine floors in my own house and realize my walls are the same that we all face– the walls of pride and sin. He walks circles around me, blows his trumpet and the walls of sin fall, layer after layer, and He can claim my soul and offer me life. For my brief moment on earth, I’m housed in a temporary dwelling of earthen skin, but one day I will be clothed in immortality, and dine with the King himself… outwardly perishing but inwardly being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16)
I have an eternal feast awaiting… and a kingdom house that awaits me.
you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house… 1 Peter 2:5
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Col. 1:17
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. I Corinthians 13:12
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Col. 3:2
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5
That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style…Psalm 144:12
Show me your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4-5
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Col. 4:5
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1
One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. Psalm 27:4
Sharing with Laura at The Wellspring:
** Note this post was updated to add the link-up with Emily at Imperfect Prose:
Your photos are lovely and so very interesting. It would be amazing to live in one of those old places, but as I gaze at them I think I will keep my humble abode here on this earth. One day I will lay it down for a richer more beautiful palace, but for now I am content.
Touring old homes used to be a summer family activity growing up, but I’ve only done so once, I think, in married life. Going with a girlfriend is a good idea to explore.
The direction the tour took your thoughts is unexpected and refreshing. I enjoyed this read. Thank you, friend.
And I have enjoyed this walk, this dream, this wonder too! What a lovely, rich Playdate to take Papa God on. I love to visit old houses and imagine the life that was lived within the walls.
This was really beautiful. Loved reading it! Great reminder that our lives are truly all the same-all in need of a Savior.
Oh this is lovely! Thanks for the tour.
wow what a cool house!!! love walking through history…i think in many ways our challenges remain the same…we are all just trying to find our place in this world and beyond…
The pillars verse and pic are a nice pairing. And I loved the image of Him marching around your soul. I redecorate beautiful old houses in my head too. Love those princess dreams.
Old places like that just fascinate and amaze me–the craftsmanship, the detail. So glad they are open and available to view. I was in I Corinthians myself this morning, considering the perishable and imperishable. Nice post. Blessings.
I love the stone work, especially combined with scripture. 🙂
When I used to envy beautiful houses like that, my mom would say, “But just think how much work it would be to keep it clean!” As I’ve grown up and realised more and more just how much work it would be, I can’t say there’s much envy left in me for those houses. This one is really unique and lovely – thanks for sharing the photos!
This is so true. Sometimes I wish I were rich and could afford bunches of lovely things, but I realize … there’s a mind-blowing HOUSE FULL OF THINGS for me in heaven and what’s more, I’ll see the face of Jesus. Thanks for the post. <3
friend, what a perfect comparison. thank you, for centering me on the father-heart of God.
ooo, I loved this magical blending of words and images. Thanks for offering these scripture passages in such a fresh way… I appreciated this so much today!