I pass, for the first time, through the double-doors into the homemaker’s heaven:
Bright lights and long aisles and…instrumental Easter hymns playing over the loudspeaker?
Observing the 30-day devotionals and wall-hanging Bible inscriptions, I presume the owner is Christian.
Immediately overwhelmed by the size of the maze, I ask an employee to show me the chalkboard markers.
We pass rows of craft supplies, bolts of fabric, Easter bunnies and plants, picture frames and furniture.
I feel an unfamiliar conflict stirring up inside me, making it difficult to concentrate on the employee’s direction.
Excitement and inspiration (the endless possibilities of homed decorating!) colliding with something like…revulsion?
I pause briefly at an aisle that catches my interest, craning my neck to see to the top of shelving laid neatly with farmhouse-style goods. Serving platters and jars, kettles and bottles and baskets and spouts, all with distressed finishes, or that green/blue patina mimic of rusting copper.
My revulsion turns to anger. Someone is making a profit off somebody else’s insecurity and attempt to construct an identity through an aesthetic!
What someone would naturally achieve by living and laboring for generations on a real farm in the country is duplicated in a sweatshop in China for five dollars, then sold for quadruple to an American suburbanite who will change their theme in five years when the next trend emerges!
I’m all a righteous, red flush and rage.
Until I realize I am the one with the insecurity and constructed identity. I am the suburbanite, and the anger is the Lord’s.
Someone across the Sea is not making a fair wage in good working conditions so I can furnish a new house! This elusive home I’m trying to find and create, telling the Lord I will do it with him, but first not understanding what it is to be at home in his presence.
Not understanding the injustice done to others to fulfill my desire, which is a false identity in the first place. I’m compensating. A wooden chicken for the assurance that I belong.
Oh, Jesus, give me rest from this striving!
All that comes is vapor (Eccl. 11:8)…. And when we’re dead and gone, and the accumulation of our striving blown away with our last breath, all we’ve left is a crater-sized carbon footprint of the landfill junk that once constructed our worth.
What can I do against such reckless, pervasive sickness?
Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgement (11:9).
I pass, for the first time, through the double doors of the Earth Maker’s heart, and I find grief.
His grief over the system, my grief over missing his heart in all this. There is more of heaven’s will to be manifest on earth, in my life!
He’s preparing a place for me, the truest home. It’s available to me right now, in his heart.
Will I exchange my perfectly-curated, white-picket-fence, Christian-American dream?
After all, it’s just an illusion.