Patrick and I cried through an Extreme Home Makeover episode a few days back. Some dear folks from our church in Texas taped several episodes for us, knowing it was our family’s favorite show.
This particular show was about creating a safe home for a family whose parents were deaf and whose youngest son was blind and autistic. Their fourteen-year-old son sent in the video tape application because he worried about his younger brother who took to escaping at night and wandering the streets, unable to see or communicate.
I thought of many things while I wept through the show:
- What a picture of God’s extravagant grace! When the family arrived home, they received a new, safe home along with blessings upon blessings piled up–a scholarship, play room, new swing set, great kitchen. I feel that way sometimes. I round a corner in my walk with Jesus only to be utterly surprised by His amazing gifts to me–gifts that feel extravagant and overboard.
- What a picture of God’s ability to stoop! When the family arrived home, the crowd of 5000 welcomed them in silence, hands waving applause in midair. The audience knew the loud noise would confuse the autistic boy, so they signed applause instead. How often God comes to me in ways I can understand Him, in ways that don’t shatter me in fear. If I need quiet applause, He sends it.
- What a picture of my heart! Watching that show, I saw afresh how narcissistic I can be. By day’s end, I see how very very much I think about my agenda, my life, my words, my, my, my… I would rather live for God’s renown and the betterment of others than claw and scratch my way to my own rights. Living for myself is a hollow, empty endeavor that typically only fills me with bitterness and angst. Life would be more fulfilling and more God-honoring if I laid it all down and followed the Great Commandment: Love God, Love others.
- What a picture of heaven! Jesus promises that He is building an extreme home for us. Not only that, when we arrive in heaven, our bodies will be clothed with perfection. Our hearts will no longer have that insidious selfish bent (how freeing that will be!). I imagine heaven looking like the end of Extreme Home Makeover–a great cloud of witnesses waving their hands wildly in the heavenly air, a place where the word family takes on a new beauty, a home where our wildest dreams materialize, a haven where we are free to laugh and revel in the goodness of the One who built homes and lives and hearts.
I need an extreme life makeover. I want the “home” of my life to radiate the same transformational beauty as the houses on Extreme Home Makeover. With Jesus moving the furniture in my heart, tearing down walls of selfishness, erecting places of beauty and worship in my life, I will understand the gritty truth that selflessness, sacrifice, and spending my life for things other than myself has great, great reward.
Dear, dear Jesus, please make over my life!