About My Brother’s House

There are, in life, timeless moments. Glimpses of something unearthly, surreal. A beautiful thing, but also a haunting, a calling of sorts, that pulls you into a space that can’t be described; a space that holds you captive even though it’s fleeting.

Selah.

My brother’s home is a home that has brought our family, his family, laughter and love—one of those homes that’s full of interesting and good things: Collections of goods that have a past—deep stories that lie beneath the barrels of antique guns, pottery, art, and shelves and shelves of written history.

It is a home where family Christmases are celebrated, meals shared, and generosity practiced.

It is a home of homes. Built by their own hands (mostly). Their abode is one of those unexpected structures that has a room added here and an upstairs there. A quirky garage whose walls are adorned with wooden planks, lovingly hand-hewed then placed in a mix-matched order just so you will take the time to stop and ponder the wood’s delicate grain.

There, my brother and his family planted an orchard, a tree farm, a family. There, they invited guests from other countries, prisons, and anyone who needed a place to stay. There, they not only lived abundant, but fought the things of country life: mice, hot summers, chilly winters, the occasional copper head, and a raccoon invasion.

So when the house burned to the ground, nothing but a heap of twisted metal and ashes left, I mourned with them, but also for myself. That place was like an old friend. One that welcomes you in, unchanged, other than a few cosmetic lifts over the years.

But when the smoke cleared and a vacant space hung where a grand porch once stood, my heart sank. And I, overwhelmed with sadness, couldn’t imagine what my brother and his wife must be feeling, not knowing that the chosen moment, that sudden grasp that seizes your heart, stood at my door.

In the rush to help them rebuild, to replenish the sweaters, the boots, the jewelry, the dining table of shared stories, I might have missed it.

Isn’t that what we do?

We rush in to fix things.

But in their called Holy Spirit and Job-like moment, my brother and sister didn’t rush to fill the void. They did the unthinkable. They praised God.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds …” James 1:2

Me, in a hurry to rebuild what seemed to be lost, realized that nothing at all was lost, but a rich and valuable treasure was gained (Matthew 13:44). It wasn’t the house, the hearth, or the quirky dishes my sister-in-law loved to collect. It wasn’t the farm feel, the worn work boots by the door, or the buzz of activity around their projects.

It was them. Two people, embracing their life journey and sharing it with others.

It was their character, their love, their process of reflecting Christ.

And when he told me, the love they received after the fire felt like what he imagined heaven to be like, I found my moment. I let go of the material and embraced who my brother and sister really are–people of outstanding, godly character.

I am so glad I didn’t miss it. I breathed it in. Let the house go.

They are my earthly home. My children are my earthly home. My husband, my mother, my father, the body of Christ, these people are the warm, wooden floors beneath my bare feet. They are the banquet at my table.

The moment.

Now I pray, when you are stripped of all this world has to offer, that you realize who you are: the treasured gold within God’s loving hands.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6.

And we are. We are filled.

Laurie

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13 thoughts on “About My Brother’s House

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  1. So beautifully said! Scott and Debra are beautiful souls and I know their faith in God will get them through. My prayers and love to you all!

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  2. What a lovely picture of Scott and Debra and their life together. Please let me know if there is anything we can do for them.

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  3. Lovely and perfectly said!

    I only visited this home once (Cassie’s college graduation), but everything you mention I also recall in my fondest memories of the blue house on Hyw 77.

    I was “just the babysitter” who from the begining felt and was treated like family. I was trusted in ways and given respinsabilities that I’m pretty sure I could not give any teenager with my own children today. But then again, I was never treated like “just the babysitter”. You, for some reason, used me as a role model for both your kids, but YOU both were such role models for me throughout my teenage and young adult years.

    I watched you grow your business over the years, not by being greedy or hungry for wealth, but rather by working hard, offering their best to everyone, and by being two of the most generous people I’ve ever know. Over the years I saw you both GIVE more than you ever made.

    Accounts of your grace and strength during this devistating time continue to inspire your friends and family. I love you both and will continue to pray for you both. Steve and I are happy to do whatever we can, whatever you need of us.

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  4. Lovely and perfectly said!

    I only visited this home once (Cassie’s college graduation), but everything you mention I also recall in my fondest memories of the blue house on Hyw 77.

    I was “just the babysitter” who from the begining felt and was treated like family. I was trusted in ways and given respinsabilities that I’m pretty sure I could not give any teenager with my own children today. But then again, I was never treated like “just the babysitter”. You, for some reason, used me as a role model for both your kids, but YOU both were such role models for me throughout my teenage and young adult years.

    I watched you grow your business over the years, not by being greedy or hungry for wealth, but rather by working hard, offering their best to everyone, and by being two of the most generous people I’ve ever known. Over the years I saw you both GIVE more than you ever made.

    Accounts of your grace and strength during this devistating time continue to inspire your friends and family. I love you both and will continue to pray for you both. Steve and I are happy to do whatever we can, whatever you need of us.

    Like

  5. Laurie,
    This is a beautiful testament to them and the Green family. This tragedy has weighed heavy on my heart for them. I’m so glad I know this family and am here to help pray for peace and love during this time. I’m here for y’all. Love, Cindy

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  6. …so eloquent. Beautiful expression of how, in this life, we receive loss and re birth all in one breath.

    Love you and thank you. Praying for the family.

    Like

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