My husband Jason and I are musicians. We are often hired to sing or play for events in whatever area we are living in at the time. We've had some interesting experiences and met some wonderful people along the way and one that especially comes to mind was a singing job we did in Cincinnati a number of years ago.
We were hired to sing our musical theater revue (he plays and we both sing) for an older couple's 50th anniversary party. This particular couple wanted to meet us and hear what we had planned before the actual event, which is not unusual. We made our way with our oldest son, Colin, who was one at the time, to their home and introduced ourselves. Their names were Mr. and Mrs. Heimlich and they lived in a beautiful home in a wooded area nearby the city. From the moment we walked in we felt at peace. Mr. and Mrs. Heimlich had spent a lifetime creating togetherness in their marriage and a sense of calm in their home. I don't remember much of what their home looked like, except that they had a bunch of knick-knacks from other countries on the shelves. I do remember part of our conversation:
Jason: So what do you do, Mr. Heimlich?
Mr. Heimlich: It's Dr. Hemilich, and I invented a little procedure you may have heard of called the Heimlich Maneuver. (he said with a smile and a wink)
Jason: Oh, that was you! Wow.
Yes, it was the Dr. and Mrs. Heimlich. The famous ones. Pretty neat, hunh? But beyond the novelty of who they were, the way they made us feel in their home has stuck with us all of these years.
I do not know if they were Christians. They didn't mention Jesus and I don't remember Christian symbols in their home. But if there had been a clear presence of the Holy One in their home, the impact would have been huge. I have often thought over the years about how my home feels. What is the first impression people have when entering? What do they see, smell, and hear? Do they sense love, peace and joy? Do they sense God here?
"I want my home to reflect you...I really want the walls of my home to reflect the work of you in my life, in our lives...I want your presence to be the direct and indirect lighting in every room."
I am no decorator. I don't have the creative eye that allows me to match contrasting fabrics and patterns. I don't have the time or the money to attend every Southern Living party that comes my way. My home isn't always spotless either and I find myself making excuses for the toys all over the floor when even the appliance repairman comes!
But that isn't what really matters. What matters is who and what are reflected in my home.
"I want the chaos, the joy, the magic that comes from sitting for hours at the feet of the Savior and having that time reflected in the life of my family. In our home."
More than I want the latest fad in decor or expensive things hanging on the wall, I want guests to feel at home here. To feel that they are welcome. To want to come back. I want our friends to know that they are on holy, though cluttered, ground and that all life here revolves around the Author of Peace, the Giver of Love.
We still talk about Dr. and Mrs. Heimlich once in a while. We reminisce about the calm that stayed with us long after we left. We recall the shared looks, the gentle touches between the two of them. I hope someday others will remember crossing the threshhold of our home in much the same way and that this place will simply reflect God's presence.
"If the Spirit of God lives in the folks at your house, make sure that is reflected on the walls and gates of your home. Bring the holy home. Let it be evident in every corner of your dwelling."
Quotes by Carol Brazo