Finding God in the Chaos
This is a picture of the source of my family’s current chaos. A few days after the new year started, my wife walked into our children’s bathroom and discovered an inch of water on the floor. It turns out a pipe burst in the wall and flooded the bathroom and parts of both of our daughter’s rooms. The tiny hole in that pipe turned into an emergency call to call plumber, ripping though sheet rock, hiring a water abatement company, a week of continuously running industrial sized fans, phone call after phone call to the insurance company, and hiring a contractor. Because the water got under a small portion of our hardwood floors, in the next few weeks we will have to pack up almost our entire house and replace 90% of the flooring in our house.
I acknowledge that in comparison to others, we are very privileged by having insurance and we can afford the deductible. In the grand scheme of life, this is nothing more than an inconvenience. Yet, it feels like our family has been thrown into chaos. Having our house is disarray has made everyone grumpy and tense. Wading through the insurance and repair process is overwhelming. Little decisions like picking out new flooring feel like major life decisions. And we haven’t even gotten to phase where everything will be packed up, moved out, and perhaps having to live in a hotel for several nights (with two dogs). My blood pressure is rising by just writing all of this.
I offer all of this to you, not so you can share in my pity party, but because it has forced me to think deeper about the Divine mortar holding up my home, family, and friends brick. I’m searching for the presence of God in the midst of the disorder of my home and family. I’m asking questions like how do we love one another when everyone is grumpy? How do we notice the presence of God when everything feels in disarray? Is God communicating something through this upheaval? I don’t have answers for any of these questions but that’s the point of this Brick and Mortar Life process—to think deeper about our lives and God’s connection to them.
Most often when we talk about our connection to God in our home and with our family and friends, we get images of the calm and serine—the family meals, the holy moments of laughter, the peaceful night where everyone curls up on the couch and easily agrees on the same show to watch on Netflix. But, let’s face it, those moments are rare and fleeting. Yet, even though it feels bigger and longer lasting, the chaos is just as fleeting. Most of our lives are lived in the mundane—the maintenance of life, going to work, picking up your prescription from the pharmacy, and folding laundry. A strong mortar doesn’t mean we have less chaos and more perfect moments. It’s finding the presence of God through all of it. When we see our faith as the mortar between the bricks of life, we realize that the perfect moments, the chaos, and the mundane are all Holy.