Sarah and I were doing some counting together, using the first few pages of the Miquon Math Orange Book. One page has a picture of a balloon, two houses, and one man, all in a box. I asked her how many houses there were and she told me there were two. Then I asked her how many balloons there were and she counted one. Thinking the next question had an obvious answer, I asked her how many people there were. She pointed to the houses and counted, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12. . . .I finally caught on, “Oh, I meant how many pictures of people are there?” “One,” she said. “But you were counting the families inside the houses, weren’t you?” “Yes!” “How many people do you think should live in each house?” I asked. “Lots and lots!” she laughed.
I was so blessed by her perception that houses represent the people who live in them, and not only a physical structure. When she thinks about our house, she sees what happens in it day after day. She doesn’t see a perfect family, but she does know that the people who live here love each other and enjoy being together, at home. She sees hugs and kisses; Bibles and books; songs, prayers and poems; a love for learning and exploring the world God made; hard work, diligence and perseverance; games and walks; heart talks and discipline; a curious mixture of sinfulness and saintliness, of pride and humility, of selfishness and self-sacrifice; cooking, meals, conversation, and friends–others sharing in our family life.
Houses are for people, for families, and for friends. But we must be there to make it a home. I wonder, if I left my children in the care of another, day after day, to go away to work and make a name for myself, what would Sarah have thought of when she looked at the houses? Would she have seen beds instead of people? A place that ought to have only bedrooms, a bathroom, a toaster and a microwave?
I am thankful that God has placed me here, in this home. It is only by His grace that I even see the value of being here. Left to myself, I would surely pursue my own selfish path. Here, I don’t need to be a household name–except in the household where I live.