CHAPTER TWO: "BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!"
You have a hard time believing the changes. No more debt. No more creditors knocking at your door. Now the rain stays outdoors and the plumbing stays in the pipes. Your front door actually latches now. It’s…amazing.*
But the Man – you’ve started calling him the ReBuilder - has a bigger plan than you realized. He wasn’t going to just uncondemn the house and sweep up the garbage. He is planning to turn your shack into a mansion. When he first told you, you said, “Awesome! Go right ahead!” But the ReBuilder smiled and said, “Not without you. It’s our house. We work together. You need to give yourself to this project." **
You’ve got nothing to offer once again, but the ReBuilder is ready for that too. He gives you a blueprint and all the tools you need. He gives you a fund to draw from for building materials, expert advice and help, etc. Since he’s the architect, designer, builder and inspector, He will be available every day – leading, guiding, protecting, correcting.
But you have to set your alarm, get out of bed, put on the tools, pick up the lumber, swing a hammer, get splinters, and break and rebuild a few things. You are going to invest some sweat equity into this house.***
Some days are better than others. You notice other houses in the neighborhood that are also being transformed by this ReBuilder, and it’s easy to be jealous of other houses that look nicer– or proud of the ones the look less advanced. The ReBuilder just shakes his head. “Build your own house with fear and trembling.**** I’ll worry about the others.”
You get hurt; you get tired; you put walls at the wrong place and shoot yourself with the nail gun. You question the ReBuilder’s blueprint. You argue when He shows you something that is not up to code.
You sometimes think it was easier just to have the old house. You occasionally find your old landlord crouching outside your door, wondering if he can hang out for a while.+ “Take a break,” he says. “Don’t take life so seriously.” Some days you actually invite him in and you hang out. It sometimes fun for a while, but it never ends well. You feel worn down again, almost as if your dead self was back, hand on your shoulder, whispering emptiness and loneliness into your ear. Your landlord always ends up roaring through your house, demolishing everything.++
But the Rebuilder helps you resist, and the old landlord has to leave.+++ More than once he has picked your sneaky Dead Self up by the collar and thrown him out on the street. You apologize to the ReBuilder when this happens. He hugs you. He doesn't yell.++++ His forgiveness is a gift too.^
But you have to spend days –even weeks - cleaning up the mess. You pick up all the stuff you can, and the Rebuilder gets the places you can’t reach and corrects the damage beyond your ability. He helps you make a plan to resist and avoid this situation the next time.^^
There are some days you wonder why the ReBuilder even puts up with you. But he never leaves you on your own. He remains true to his word. He holds you to the code but patiently helps you when you miss the mark. He teaches you how not to shoot anyone with the nail gun. You know you are in this together, that he is for you, that he will restore you and help you even when you are at your weakest.^^^
So every day you arise and build, and you find increasing satisfaction in the affirmation of the ReBuilder and the pleasure of a job well done.^^^^
CHAPTER FOUR: ALIVE!
*2 Corinthians 5:17
***1 Corinthians 9:27
++1 Peter 5:8
++++1 John 1:9
^^Ephesians 4:27; 2 Corinthians 2:11
^^^^Nehemiah 2:17-18; Matthew 25:23