morning post, part 2

Here is a continuation of the woman’s conversation with her pastor about her decision to sink her modest fortune into a old house in town.  If you haven’t read the first bit of this yet, back up one post on this blog


“Okay, Sherry.  Let’s try something else.  What’s your motive here?  Why are you set on this”
“In some measure, finally, it’s even a mystery to me.  I don’t really know why that old place has such a hold on me.  Why it intrigues me so.  I know that I love the beauty of it – the beauty that it could have and did have in its day.  I love its proportions and its grandeur.  The balcony, the turret, the leaded windows.  I was always fascinated with the place as a little girl and now it has caught me again.”

“You’re not saying you’re following your heart, are you?  We’re not dealing with an inner voice, here?”

“No.  Not entirely.  Some of it, much of it, maybe, is internal, but there are plenty of external reasons.  Practical things that I can point to.”

“That sounds interesting.  Let’s hear about that.”

“In a way, I see my buying this house as a mission.  We spend, what, fifteen percent of the church’s money on foreign missions?”

“Something like that.  In a good year.”

“I’ve never gone on one of our mission trips, but my nephew went to the Dominican.  Ten years ago, maybe.  And the thing he came back with was this: those people, poor as they are, are happier than we are.  They are grateful, carefree and start the day with a song and a smile.  Changed my nephew’s life, really.  His whole outlook.  My point is that we are the people who are really miserable.  I’ll sound like a newscast, but it’s true.  How many people in our congregation are affected by drug addictions?  Almost all of the kids are failing.  Their lives are one shipwreck after another.  They are depressed and hopeless.  Our parents had better lives.  They were healthier and more stable and had more cause for hope.”

“Okay.  Tell me how buying a hundred-year-old house has anything to do with that?”

“I think that house was built as a kind of mission, really.  I think it was built to give the people who live here a kind of vision of goodness and beauty.  We don’t have that now.  Everything that surrounds us is watered down and cheapened.  Anything that is worthwhile and good is beyond our reach.  Almost beyond our imagining.  The good life is somewhere else, but not here.”

“You think a house can bring hope back?”

“It’s a start.  What if the place were restored to its glory?  The windows sparkling, the gardens replanted, the ballroom lit with candles.  Real parties.  Dances.  The original idea, brought back to life.  Do you think that would change anything, pastor?”

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