Winter 2011 #7
By this time tomorrow Paradise will be ours!
For two years we have been tenants at this striking address: a home amongst houses, a dwelling that ministers security to every level of our lives: body, soul and spirit. When my Favourite Wife first came here I was in hospital, 600km away, and I well remember her excited text message: I think I’ve found our home! She signed the lease the very same day.
The loss of a home we had owned and the loss of my job had led to our move south, to a new town on banks of the Murray River. An Occupational Therapist gave us a list of things to look for, and the real estate agents found the place they thought would fit the bill.
A level home, gracefully designed, beside a lightly timbered hill-side in a quiet cul-de-sac. Bay windows face due north, catching every drop of winter sun, shaded by luxurious grape vines through the summer. It is impossible not to be drawn into Paradise. Friends and visitors remark on its warmth, and on its fabulous setting. Small details confirmed to us (in that ‘signs and wonders’ style to which I am deeply attached!) that we were in the right place. The street we drive up is called “Balmoral”, the name of our favourite beach, on which my Best Girl and I grew up as kids. The house has just one key which opens every door – a feature that I had built into our former house at some expense because our Little One will wander, and we must lock every door. A line of Silver Princess Gums, a favourite tree, wanders through the block. And we have a glorious view: our Kangaroo-spotted hill during the day; and the twinkling lights of the town below at night. It brings to mind a saying from a good friend’s South African family: “Somewhere to look away from your breakfast”.
It was on the very night of our daughter’s wedding, just weeks ago, that we received the valuation certificate by email, and learned that the house was within our reach. After a glorious day together fourteen members of our family were gathered around our dining table and we celebrated this unexpected, amazing news together.
The story that ends tomorrow began years ago, when I took out life insurance as an invincible, younger man, with little serious thought for the future. From memory a close friend suggested a figure, and it seemed like a plan. That figure turned out to be exactly the price of Paradise, to the dollar! Now, who could have orchestrated that? I marvel that we have arrived here. Amidst the great challenges we face, my family and I continue to find Providence by our side.
Earlier this year I heard a Jewish man in a BBC documentary recount the strange story of his return to the home of his childhood. The family’s home in Izbicz, Poland, had been abandoned in a futile attempt to escape the Nazi invasion. The boy, Thomas Blatt, survived the death camps, and half a century later he revisited his former home. Blatt told of finding furniture in the house that remained from his childhood, and then described the current occupant’s suspicious, nervous accusation that Blatt was there only to find his Jewish family’s hidden gold. The owner proposed a 50/50 split. Blatt took one brief look around, and left without a word. He went back just once more, some years on, to find the house a demolished, uninhabited shell. Neighbours explained that after his first visit the owner became obsessed, possessed even, searching day and night for the mythical stash of treasure, until he finally destroyed his home. In jealousy and greed he ravaged his own future.
A strange story to tell at a moment like this perhaps, and I don’t count myself to be above any of the motives in this evocative tale of greed. But it provides a vivid counterpoint to our experience of abundant grace. Here we are in Paradise, having been given more than we can imagine; but the true value of our home is not in its title deeds, or its elegance, or even its glorious view. Who we have, not what we have, will always matter most.
Half of me doesn’t want tomorrow to come, and the other half just can’t wait! The anticipation is delicious, and the imagery irresistible. Paradise lies ahead of us, the best is yet to come.
17 thoughts on “Tomorrow, Paradise!”
Roderick this is such a beautiful account of how God is looking after you and your precious family I am so happy for you! To own a home in Paradise is a great gift indeed. Thanks for showing the picture…your house is really snuggled in the trees and I can only imagine the view! God bless you my friend!
What a wonderful blessing, Roderick! To have the exact same amount from your policy as the price of this perfect home is just so God-given, it gives me goosebumps. I’m very happy for all of you.
Who we have is our home…even better. God be with you all, all of the time.
Congratulations and thank you Heavenly Father
Wow wow wow – so happy for your blessing for you all!! Thanks for sharing the picture – it certainly is Paradise!! May it be a place of more good family memories.
a sound mind,writing talents and dwelling in paradise with your favourite wife .What more can one wish for.
That is great news. Best wishes to you all.
praise the Lord for His provision!!
What a wonderful insight to share and sometimes your messages come just at the most appropriate times. Thanks.
I often read out your posts to Nick – his job was made redundant and even though he has been paid out what is fair, 11.5 years with the company and going through thick and thin with them has left him feeling a bit down. But your post certainlly helps. Keep them coming….Beant
Thank you Sharon, it is a great gift, just amazes us.
Goosebumps Ann, indeed!
The financing was finally a little more complex, and went via a different route, but that fact is absolutley true and the key to being here today. I do love sharing a good story.
Thank you Dennis,
When are you going to call in to celebrate with me?
Well you must come down one day for a visit, don’t you think?
You are absolutley right Norma, I like the way you put it!
Ian, thank you for your wishes, it’s great to hear from you!
Praise the Lord, indeed! Thank you Alan.
It’s such a delightful feeling knowing that our stories are encourageing to others; I do appreciate you keeping in touch. That’s tough for my friend Nick. Please give him my best won’t you.
We would love to! Maybe in a couple of weekends after we get settles in Wag. Love to Karen!