I drove past this house recently in the back hills of Kentucky. I stopped to ponder this home. At some point in history, this was somebody’s dream. Some young couple married, built a house and raised their beautiful children here. The owner would have spent nights imagining how he would place the footings, how he would erect the walls, where he would place the windows. He would have dreamed of the views out the dormer windows in the early morning before milking the cows. He considered every nail, every board, and every shingle. It’s large enough that it supported a sizable family. Possibly a large family on a sprawling farm in these green hills. The road in the foreground is new, the old road is hundreds of feet behind me, winding through the hills and trees. The new road is straighter with fewer hills. When the family lived here they were far back from their little winding dirt road. Safe for the children. Safe to live as they wished without an intrusion. Free to plant, to build, to live without any interference from others.
But today this house is nothing more than a few boards that reveal a memory of its original shape and purpose. It’s left to the imagination because actual evidence of this family is long past. Time has changed those grand dreams. What once enclosed laughter and love is now nothing more than a roadside nuisance. Today it’s nothing more than tinder.
Today is election day. As I looked at this dilapidated home I thought of our country. Once proud. Once full of freedoms and farmers. Full of families, laughter, church, and friends. Our land once stood for freedom in a way that no other country had fathomed. Our Godly forefathers had a dream of a land that would be governed by the people. This was once a majestic land, a land of endless possibilities.
But today our house is nothing more than a few boards that reveal a memory of its original shape and purpose. It’s left to the imagination because actual evidence of this great land is long past. Time has changed those grand dreams. What once enclosed laughter and love is now nothing more than a roadside nuisance.
Do I paint too bleak a picture? Maybe. There are times I’m proud to see the majesty of the American way of life. But all too often, what I see is a shape, a memory. If my picture is too negative, too bleak, then give it a few more years. We’ve driven away from our Master Carpenter. We’ve told him He is not allowed in our schools, in our courts, in our homes, and often even not allowed in our churches. Only a Master Carpenter can rebuild this house that once stood so proud, but the foundations are cracked, the footings are washed away, and the floors are rotted.
I fear that soon it will be nothing more than tinder.