Did you ever make a time capsule as a kid? I remember doing one at my school. I don’t remember anything that went into it or when it was to be opened, but I remember thinking about how awesome it would be for someone to find it some day. Now that I’m a grown-up, I live in an old Virginian home built in the 1930’s. I’ve had repeated dreams that there are more rooms to the house than we know of…like secret passageways… and that I find treasures left behind from those who lived there before we did. What treasures would you want to leave in your home for someone to find years and years from now?
My friend, Elizabeth, and her husband are in the process of building a home to move into with their growing family. A few months ago, she emailed a few of her friends asking for our favorite Bible verses because she wanted to literally write them on the beams of her house. I was blown away by that creative thought. She got the idea from her mother-in-law, who had the good point that even if all the walls were blown off their house some day and someone came across the foundations and beams of their house, maybe, just maybe, they’d see the truth of God’s word written right there.
I’ve started seeing a trend of this and think it’s a fantastic thing. My friend, Julie, back in Nashville let her kids write scripture on the walls too. When I was getting a tour of their home, I asked one of the kids about it and if they were really allowed to write on their walls and they said, “Well, yes, Mrs.Emily, of course. It’s Scripture.”
These ladies are leaving clues for all who come behind them that point to Jesus. They are beautifully putting the Shema into practice,
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NIV
Every day we are surrounded with opportunities to build our home with the foundation and support of God and His word. Lately, in addition to praying for my nieces, nephew and the little boy I watch, I’ve been looking for simple opportunities to help build the supporting structures in the home of their hearts with Christ’s love and truth. It’s remarkable how quickly they absorb things. I’ve only been watching the little guy I nanny for about three weeks and he already is finding application of the simple verses we have been talking about. The other day in the car, I was cheering him on for making such good decisions that day and with his three year old, sweet little smile, he replied, “Just like our Bible Verse! Be kind to another!”
Recently, I was reading an article in a local magazine about a house on the campus of Liberty Unversity, called the Carter-Glass Mansion. When I was a student there, we simply referred to it as, “The Mansion.” The late Dr.Jerry Falwell had his office there. In fact, on my first visit to Liberty, my parents and I got to actually meet him in his office. The lawn in front of this home was set a top a hill, overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Sometimes I’d just go up there to sit and think or pray. Other times, there were fun activities like outdoor movies that everyone would gather for. My husband and I went on picnic dates there before we got married. But now, that ground is sacred. Dr.Falwell is buried at the foot of that yard which was once a Dairy Farm, around which the Lord provided the fulfillment of his vision for a Christian university. Until I read this article, though, I never really thought about who lived there before Dr.Falwell and Liberty moved in.
In 1923, Carter Glass, a Dairy Farmer-turned Senator built that home. He built it near the railroads so he could easily commute to and from Washington. Dr.Falwell wasn’t the only interesting historical figure who livened that home. Senator Glass left his mark too. According to Heather Craven’s article in Lynchburg Living, “Glass acquired the afternoon The Daily Advance and became the only newspaper publisher in Lynchburg. The News & Advance is the successor to his newspapers. Later, he was appointed the 47th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1918 to 1920 by President Woodrow Wilson and served as a U.S. Senator from 1920 until his death in 1946 at the age of 88. Most notably, he is known for creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve System and for co-authoring the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which enforced the separation of the U.S. money system. His face is on the $50,000 Treasury note and he was the first living person in the United States to have his face coined on a 50-cent piece. This man of prestige and power was on the cover of TIME Magazine twice.”
Save for the guests who stay in the period remodeled home, it’s now an abandoned mansion. The men have moved onto their places in eternity, but their stories and impact are left behind to live.
What is written on the walls of your home? I don’t just mean the building that shelters you from the elements. I mean the sheet rock of your heart. Will those that come after you find worthwhile remnants in the time capsule called legacy that you leave behind? Will the inhabitants of this world that you have referenced as home know how to find their true Home after you are long gone because of the secrets you left to whisper till eternity?
I can’t help but think of the story of Gideon. After God rescued the Israelites using a mere 300 men in their weakness to display His strength and glory, it only took ONE generation before He was forgotten.
A few months ago, I heard a dear woman, Linda Barrick, speak at a Bible Study I attend. “The Prayers you pray today can impact the next generation. Stand up and don’t let your families forget God!”
Who fills your home? After you leave this house you call a body one day, what will be left as markers of your time here? The prayers you prayed for your family, friends, and future generations? The scriptures you helped people of all ages and stages write upon the walls of their hearts and lives? The investments of encouragement that helped people follow after their God-given dreams and calling that in turn, slowly changed the course of history?
I have a friend from the Middle East who remarked just last week that for a couple thousand years, prayers have been lifted up over and over for Muslims to come to Christ. Obviously there have been a couple thousand years of violence and friction between Muslims and Christians. But do you want to know something remarkable that he told me? Thousands and thousands of Muslims are now seeking Christians out in the Middle East asking how they can know Jesus.
That’s what happens when you pray for future generations and have God’s Word of truth and spirit of love written on the rafters and foundations of your life. People seek and discover truth.
Are you utilizing the walls of your home? Is it builder’s grade sheet rock? Or is it made of upgraded materials that point to the architect that designed your home?
What will people find left on the walls of your home when you have moved out some day?
What story will the writing on the wall tell?