Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beauty vs. Function

The chief reason I want another house is not beauty, it’s function. I’m very interested in growing some of my own food, keeping chickens, and having more energy independence. I don’t think we can be “off the grid” but we can have a wood stove, some solar and maybe even some wind energy. But I can not help but think of beauty. I want to make that house and garden beautiful. Yes I know it can all burn! But God is creative. He made the whole world both functional and beautiful! How can we balance the two? How much money do we spend on insulation, and solar? How much do we spend on wallpaper and plants? And when you know so many families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, you have to ask why should we have a villa? I’m listening to an audible book called “out living your life”. There is a pretty good chapter on hospitality. We use to have international students (most from Japan) live with us. We use to have a guest room. Before we got Thomas, Philip and Sarah we would have 30 guests per year. But life got too busy and space too limited. If we could only renovate the attic for the boys, I could have a real guest room again. And I know I’ll have to fight Juergen for the space. It seems so self indulgent to have a room set aside “only for guests”. But maybe that’s why God is giving us a villa? He wants us to have the room and freedom to demonstrate hospitality again. I remember I had to travel across the USA on a hot greyhound bus. I stopped in Montana and spent about 6 hours with Dick and Joy Schroder. They were campus pastors at the University of Montana. Joy ran a nice bath for me. She put candles around the tub, and even provided bubbles. Then she went to the store and bought me goodies for my trip. Fruit, candy and drinks. She feed me a warm meal and then sent me on my way changed by her kindness. I feel called to do the same thing. 100 sermons could not have made a deeper impression on me. In this cold world a cup of coffee and a hot meal can change us forever.

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