SHORTLY BEFORE ERIN AND I left to go see family last month, the trustees began some what we thought would be minor work that could be done mostly while we were gone. A few things in the kitchen and repainting the hallway – nothing major, right?

Well…when the wainscot on the wall behind the master shower was removed, turns out there was water running down the sheetrock with mold and mildew everywhere. Upon further inspection, we found the drainpipe for the bathtub was also cracked and leaking. The spot on the ceiling above the shower turned out to be an issue with the air conditioner (installed in 1982!)

Now, we have a WONDERFUL group of trustees and the parsonage liaison, Debbie Clanton, who were on top of everything, with all necessary repairs in the midst of being done in short order with quality behind every phase of the job. Erin and I had given no thought to the idea of the hallway or some of the kitchen modifications, but we were told that FUMC has prided itself for years on their proactive attitude towards parsonage maintenance (as an aside, I moved into my first parsonage 19 years ago and I have NEVER had as proactive a group as this and probably never will again!)

This whole series of incidents has caused me to reflect upon the Lenten journey as the gift of the unexpected. The simple act of peeling off a section of wainscot led into the discovery of a whole lot of other major issues that, if left untreated, could have dire and drastic consequences for all involved. When you and I take advantage of this season of introspection, confession, and repentance, we may wind up uncovering other things in our life that need addressing, things of which we may not have been aware – but things that could be crippling physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and/or spiritually.

Amongst the beautiful things of the life in Christ is knowing that no matter what may be discovered when we peel back the wainscoting in our lives, Christ is there every step of the journey to lead us, guide us, and heal us.

Yes, life is interesting with contractors in and out throughout the day. Yes, there is adjustment going down a bathroom for a couple of weeks. Yes, looking at naked walls and walking on concrete in the hallway is something that is outside of the norms. But it’s ok – these are merely signs that needed work is being done, and for needed work to be done life has to change from time to time. Lent is one of those seasons in which life takes a turn away from the normal – rather than looking at it as a pain and major inconvenience, may we look at it instead as some necessary construction and remodeling to make life healthier now and into the future.

Are you taking advantage of the love of God incarnate in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to peel back the wainscot and let the master carpenter do divine healing in your soul?

Grace and Peace, Lamar