Wednesday Word: Houses, Shoes, and Church

House Shopping, Shoes, and Church

Joelene and I are house shopping. We've been house shopping seriously now for about a month. We have a particular style in mind, as well as particular needs. I am not good with tools. To borrow a line from a movie, “I have a very particular set of skills,” and none of those skills include home improvements. So we are looking for something that requires minimal work.

I'm not interested in repainting the blue doors and red walls. I don't want to have to knock out walls to make the space fit our needs/desires. I don't want to have to worry about the water-damaged ceiling. I don't want to feel claustrophobic. Ish . . . Buying a house is a lot like buying shoes.

Buying shoes is one of those worldly things that I really dislike. Besides finding a style you like, you need to find ones that fit properly. If they're too big, your foot sloshes around and blisters are a real possibility. If they're too small, you might develop bunions. And a size 10 in one brand may feel like a 9-1/2 in another brand. Sometimes the size differential even appears in the same brand but in different styles. It's hard trying to find shoes that you're happy with and that fit well. Ish . . . Shoe shopping is a lot like house shopping.

And both of these are like church.

At first we “church shop.” That is, we look for something that doesn't seem to be in a state of disrepair or one that doesn't need a lot of work. We look for one that isn't so big that we slosh around, nor for one that is so small that we get cramped. We want one that fits.

But even the best house will have problems here and there. Even the best pair of shoes may stretch out and become too big, or maybe even shrink depending on what you've done to them. Churches, also, will experience times of growth and times of shrinkage. They expand and contract.

Sometimes that expansion will cause you to grow in new ways so that you can continue to “fit.” Sometimes you may experience a tightness, an uncomfortableness, that makes you feel like you are being squeezed. But eventually things will work themselves out and you will once again fit.

St. John's is not a perfect fit for everybody; but I'm glad it's a good fit those who call this house their home. And regardless of the house we find, or the shoes I wear, I know that St. John's will fit for a long time.



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