As a young teenager one of the songs I sang with our church choir was “The Secret Place”. The lyrics describe ones heart as being like a house where Jesus comes in and visits with you in the many rooms. Except for that one room where you keep the door closed, hidden from prying eyes, even Jesus’ you imagine. Then of course, as He has always known of it being there, He points it out and you know, ready or not, the two of you are about to enter that room. In the chorus Jesus hands you the key “with tears of love on His face He said I want to make you free, let me go in your secret place”.
It is a beautiful song and the image of my heart being like a house has stayed with me through these many years. What began as a teenage “what if” picturing in my mind has become a more solid picture in my adult mind. Through the years as I’ve matured and learned what the important things in life are truly about the house I imagined in my heart has changed. Gone is the two story white country home with airy sheer curtains blowing out the windows and rockers on the front porch. Gone is the log cabin in the mountains with its lake view and long pier. In their place has come a round rock home, not very big but solidly built to withstand life’s storms. A place of retreat, of quiet, of reflection, of visiting with God and a place to create.
After my amputation I would seek the comfort of this heart house but it ceased being that for no longer could I climb the stairs to the domed observation porch, or to the second floor library where I had long imagined myself seeking and finding time alone with God. I didn’t have the energy, spiritually or emotionally, to spare to renovate my heart house. So it has stood neglected in my heart, the memory of it covered over in my mind. It has been counted as a tally mark on the scoreboard of things I’ve lost in the last two and a half years.
Yet recently the thought of my house has crept into my subconscious and I’ve awaken feeling an aching loss and grief for this piece of my spiritual life. For over the years, this image, though just an image in my mind of a house where Jesus and I lived and visited; where I sought shelter from the ugliness in life and the pain associated with it has come to mean a lot to me. Even when I would go to create something crafty, paint a picture, write a poem, or work again on that novel this is the place from within me that those things came. I worshipped in this heart house…I sang…I praised…and I sought and found the presence of Jesus there.
Then I drew the image as best as my limited abilities would allow as I’ve seen it these last 20 years, an outside view only I found myself adding a room on the ground floor and an entrance not there before on the other side. It finally occurred to me, I didn’t need to forsake my heart house for I only need to renovate it!
So, over the next few weeks my heart house is under renovation! Foremost I am keeping in mind that this is the place Jesus and I will meet on a daily basis whether I literally image it or not and I have all intention of rolling through with Him by my side to make the renovation decisions!
Perhaps it is a silly leftover from adolescence this heart house of mine. Perhaps not. Regardless it is important to me. Is it possible you too have a house in your heart where Jesus waits for you to visit? A room you’ve locked away because you’re ashamed of what it contains, the hurts are too great to acknowledge, the scars too tender to be observed? Jesus has the key, He already knows the contents of that room, and He stands at the door with the key in the palm of His nail scarred hand outstretched to you. Will you take it? Will you let Him set you free? Let Him help you turn that room into something beautiful?