I'm still remembering our September vacation. It makes me smile, even all these weeks later.
Except for one thing.
When we visited Tom's parents in their senior community of duplex houses, we saw the most appalling thing. Well, it was appalling to us, anyway. Every ninety feet (or so), there were these concrete block 'dumpster buildings' being constructed. Ugly grey, three-walled things probably 7 feet tall, and that's without their soon-to-be-constructed pitched roofs.
And where did they construct these monstrosities? Just feet away from the large living room window of Tom's parents' duplex as well as others here and there. Gah! Now their view of lovely trees, lawns and the sky is blocked by the harsh lines of concrete blocks.
I should have taken pictures to show you, but I didn't.
We couldn't believe it. I mean, the dumpsters they'd used for years, themselves, weren't the large kinds, but rather small and took up so little space on the curb. In comparison, they were barely noticeable. But now! Ugh. Those new structures practically stand there as citadels, what with their ventilation window reminding us of those openings in forts through which troopers would shoot long rifles.
In fact, one of our relatives (not Tom's parents) said he would be tempted to use that window for such a purpose in this case.
Gah. I told Tom and his parents that, had that happened in front of our house, I'd have been livid. I'd have thrown a huge fit. Tom's mom said that's just what she did, but oh well, there was nothing anybody could do. The powers that be, the owners of the complex, had come up with the (lousy) plan.
What a test! Could I pass that test? Well, definitely not without tons of Grace's help. What a challenge to forgive those who stuck concrete blocks in front of my only living room window. Would I be able to keep my sunny attitude? Could I think of a creative way of decorating that nearly floor-to-ceiling window within the rules of the complex? Could I rearrange such a small space and perhaps hang one of those wallpaper mural sheets (if that was allowed) and use that as a window to the outdoors, instead? Could I create a room so sweet and pretty that a ruined view wouldn't matter?
Only with much help from Grace. Much, much help. And I've a feeling that every bit of practice I've had from learning to receive from Grace would be squeezed into play in that type of situation.
I do love windows, their view, their light, especially. And well, some tests are harder than others, but all are passable with aid from God and Grace. But for me, this would be a really tough test, indeed.
Philippians 4:13 (Amplified Bible)
"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]."