In my early childhood I grew up on a narrow horseshoe-shaped street, our small house was perched on a cliff across the way from a lake. Beside our open view was another house—much larger, clinging to a cliff near the lake’s edge. The Thompsons were a kind, elderly couple, but as a young child their large house was shrouded in mystery, leaving my curiosity to fill the gaps.
One week, the Thompsons were out of town and they asked my mother to feed their cat. As a lover of animals I was quite excited to meet their feline—with a father allergic to cats, we only had a rowdy miniature dachshund named Max. The time came to cross the street and kick the welcome mat aside to reveal the key that would satiate my inquiring mind. As my mother led me inside, my built up preconceptions were not subdued.
There was a denseness to the air and it was very dark inside. Lining every wall, carpeting the floors, I saw glints of vacant eyes… there were heads… little black noses… fur.
Mr. Thompson was a notorious and proud hunter who displayed his conquests in every room of his mansion. This fact was unbeknownst to my mother, who had second-thoughts of bringing her sensitive, animal-loving, four-year-old daughter along. As we toured the floors—don’t judge, the house was phenomenal—I would gently pet each rug or mounted head and ask my mother how the beast passed away—of natural causes, of course. She was thorough, though not original, in her stories: old age, in his/her sleep, etc.
When we returned home from our hundred-foot journey, I asked my mother if we would ever consider inviting the Thompsons over for dinner, when she replied, “I don’t see why not.”
I quickly said, “Well, we better hide Max!” Her tightly-wound stories did not convince her daughter from thinking the man next door might try to turn the dachshund into an ottoman.
This quirky Reynaud family tale is one I keep on learning from. Whether it be beautiful houses that are dead inside, or protecting what is of value to us—like Max was to me. What I take away from it this time is to remind myself to wonder and relish in the mysteries God has set in my life.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness.
For his name’s sake.
So often I find myself foraging ahead at full speed, and when I see something I don’t yet understand, it makes me anxious or uncomfortable. What may lay ahead might seem like a creepy mansion with a peculiar choice in interior design, but I must relinquish that control and trust in the Father to guide my journey which is to reveal His glory forevermore.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, For you are with me; Your rod and your staff,
They comfort me.