Have you ever been house hunting or moved into a house when it was totally empty? Or walked through your own house after packing everything up making sure everything was out? It is kind of surreal. It is hollow. There is an eerie echo throughout the space. It is just a shell.
We have just recently cleaned out my mother-in-law’s house because it has sold. My husband and his sisters have pretty much only known and remembered this house all their lives. It changed little over the years, maybe a new piece of furniture over the years or the bedrooms changed around from time to time.
It was always their home. It was where they grew up, took family pictures inside and out, and made their memories. Their Mom, whom we all lovingly called Granny, was very organized and most everything in her home had a sentimental meaning. She took great pains to make her home a solitude from the busy world around her. She welcomed any and all to come and sit down and enjoy a visit. She always made sure you felt like you mattered.
The difference between then and now is the house is just an empty shell. There is no furniture to sit upon, no dishes to put food on, nor food in the pantry. There is nothing to indicate what happened everyday day in and day out in the space anywhere. There is no evidence of much of anything, other than it was well taken care of.
But, when she resided there, it was full of love.
We can be much the same. We can go about our lives in such a way that we are just a shell. We can pass by others and not be noticed, we can blend in to the background, or we can just live our lives without much life.
But, when God comes and lives in our hearts, what a difference. We can’t help but shine and be a light to those around us. We can invite others in to sit and rest and enjoy a visit. We can offer spiritual food and drink to nourish souls. We can make sure others know they matter.
Why is this important and what does this have to do with special needs?
People in our world are broken, we all are for that matter. But the difference we can make in someone’s day can make all the difference in their lives. My child with a disability could just be considered a shell of a person, but oh how she shines for Jesus. My attitude in caring for her could be cold and unloving, but how God shines through the self-sacrifice of my love for her.
Do you see the difference?
To God, we all matter, whether we know it or not. Other’s matter. We need to live our lives as an open door welcoming all in to be filled with love and belonging. We need to invite others into our lives and show them God’s love. We need to show that our loved ones with special needs matter and what a difference they make in our lives.
Granny’s house may be completely empty today, but what made her house a home was her love. Thank you, Granny, for showing us how to do this. Thank you, Granny, for all the people who came and visited and left feeling as if they mattered.
May we all do the same in our own lives.
PS – The above picture is one of the last pictures I have on my phone taken at Granny’s house with some of the grand-kids. The two oldest grands were away at college.