Friday, May 11, 2012

The Address: A guest post



Day after day of puppy-dog eyes and “Mama, please, please, please!” had taken their toll. I gave in. Not for them, but for me. So that afternoon in smeared, fifth-grade print, the address was placed in my hand. “Her mom said she can come – here’s her address so we can pick her up!” With the buzz of excitement thick in the air, twin tandem voices swirled as I read the note.

I’d met the girl before. A cute little thing with a sweet disposition, I was glad the girls had found her. Very polite, and always mannerly, she seemed a good fit for them. That is, until I read the address. “She’s so excited to be in her new house, Mama, they just got moved in!” “New house,” I thought, “In that neighborhood?”

Forlorn houses with unkempt yards line the dimly lit street. The whole area looks sad and hopeless. Chipped paint, high weeds, broken glass – that’s the state of nearly every house. I’d like to say safety was my primary concern, but I’d be lying. My heart filled with judgment as they ran to knock on the door.

They played for hours and then a break in the noise: “Thanks for letting me come today, I’m having so much fun. Your house is so big and so nice.” With that my heart was changed. Not because of the compliment, but because I realized how much I have to be thankful for. 

I don’t really have a big house, and in comparison to many, it’s not that nice either. I’ve complained about it in the past and been jealous of others who have bigger and better. I’ve even been embarrassed to invite friends over. I’ve been ashamed of my own address – the warm, comfortable, enough-for-us, with-running-water, in-a-safe-area home that God has provided us with. 

I found out later that her address – the one I judged, the one I scowled at, the one I deemed unworthy – represented a new life for her and her mom. They had escaped from an abusive father/husband and this is what they could afford.

Why does an address matter, anyway? We are not defined by the structures in which we live but by the way we structure our lives. We don’t know the struggle of others, and we often have no clue what their address represents. God, help me to see beyond location, position, and possession. Help me to consider the hidden, the things only You know, and help me bring Your restoration to those who need it most.
Faith blogger, free-lance writer, stay-at-home mother of three, and author of Devotions from the Middle, Deidra holds an MS in psychology and is currently writing a book about her recovery from bulimia and depression.
twitter: @DeidraManning

Personal note: I have been following Deidra's blog for a while and I love the transparency and honesty with which she shares. Her heart resonates with mine as she has moved from "ruin to restoration" in her life. Go check out her blog, follow her on twitter, or get her devotional book! 

Deidra was kind enough to allow me to share some of her blog posts here, so stay tunned as I will be sharing more from Deidra's heart.

And leave her a comment so she knows you stopped by and read her beautiful words.

Photo Credit: Creation Speaks

5 comments:

  1. Such beautiful, heart-felt insight. Thank you!

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  2. What a beautiful reminder not to judge!

    It is so easy to judge by outward appearance, isn't it? It takes extra effort to actually get to know people.

    Sounds like a good friendship was born that day!

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  3. Beautiful and so convicting, Deidra! Thank you for this!

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  4. Wow! I loved this so much that I had to share it.

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