My boys are most happy when going wild with cardboard boxes. Our dining room has held rockets, ships, trains, skyscrapers.
Yesterday we visited my parents. Mom has taken to stashing boxes in her closet. When the boys come to visit, she extracts a few. But when visiting yesterday, we ran short on time. So we pushed the half-constructed works into my van and they came home.
Today the schoolroom was a crazy mess of tape, box flaps, scissors, and twine.
"I'm building a stuffed animal home," Zay says. His box is a multi-level structure. On each floor he's carved a door.
"Let me help you," Gabe says.
They whisper for a few minutes. Then they hunker hard over the same box. They snip. They tape. Their bodies press close as they shimmy cardboard pieces into the box.
And I notice their ability to see the weak spots. The areas that won't hold the weight. The places that will come crashing down.
"If Greyhound Blue stays on this floor, you'll need some more tape here," Gabe says. He points to a bare spot in the back where the cardboard floor meets the wall without reinforcement. Zay is on it. He stretches duct tape and reaches for the scissors.
"I need to make this door stronger," Zay says. "Panther Guy's too wide. He'll tear the door loose."
They keep working and the house gets stronger.
It makes me think of our house. Our home. Our physical house has its weak spots. More than we'd like - it's a century and a half old. However it's our spiritual house that holds my thoughts. There are obvious weaknesses - the bristly stuff that happens because we live close and tight. But I know there are other places too. Weak spots that aren't as obvious. Places where sin makes the walls weak or maybe our roof isn't shored up quite enough with living out God's Word.
Lord, let us see the weak spots. Let them be known so we can be wise. So we can work hard. So we can reinforce. So we can take them to You in prayer.
So we can experience Your strength and grace.
Gabe and Zay finish the house, bolt upstairs, and return with a basket of stuffed friends. One-eyed Tigger goes into the box. Rabbit-with-no-fur-on-his -ears is next. Vanilla Cat. Jewel Bear. Old Friend.
The animals seem to like their new digs. Gabe and Zay sit back on their heels and beam from ear to ear.
The floors are firm.
The structure holds.
And I celebrate, too. For the goodness God's given and the goodness He'll give.
Lord, help us to build homes that honor You. Amen..