By Carol Duerksen
If Jesus stopped by and wanted to see my house, I would say:
“Well, when we bought this old fixer-upper farmhouse in 1988, it needed a lot of fixing and upping. The limestone rock and concrete foundation looked pretty solid, and we needed the extra room, so we added an A-frame upstairs. Years later, we attached the garage with a library/guest room on the second floor. And then, years later, we thought about putting a new basement under it, but we decided to put that money into a ground floor sunroom instead. A sunroom is so much more fun and user-friendly than a basement.
“Since then we have done several things to support the foundation,” I would explain. “We have re-routed water that was coming in and eroding the limestone rock. We’ve added concrete braces to the basement walls. It doesn’t look like the house is sinking. But someday, something will have to be done to guarantee that this house on a solid foundation.”
Then Jesus might tell me a story about good foundations and bad foundations. . .about a house built on rock, and a house built on sand.
And then Jesus might mention a passage in the Torah about a tree planted by a stream. (Psalm 1.) He might remind me that he fulfilled the law, so “delighting in the law” is like delighting in him. And he might go on to say that delighting in him is more than a cozy friendship. He might say that it isn’t enough just to listen to him, or praise him, or put his name on your car tag. He might say: “Remember the house?”
And then I might say: “But seriously, Jesus, what does it mean to build my foundation on you?”
And he might say: “Well, like I’ve said before, love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. That pretty much sums it up.”
And then he might get a funny little smile and say: “And now are you going to ask me who is your neighbor? I have a story about that too.”
We would laugh together.
We would talk some more, and Jesus might say that building my foundation on him doesn’t mean there won’t be any storms. “In fact, if you knew there wouldn’t be storms, why would you need a strong foundation?” he might say. “The whole point of a solid foundation is because there WILL BE STORMS.”
I would talk about the storms I have been through, and thank him for being there with me. And I would talk about the unknowns in life right now and all of the uncertainty—the most uncertainty I have ever experienced. He would listen intently.
At some point, Jesus might say softly, “You know it’s not all about you, Carol, don’t you?”
That’s when the tears would slip out. I knew that Jesus’ love for me was no more and no less than it was for every soul in the world. I felt so deeply loved. . .and so deeply challenged.
“The world is full of your neighbors who are in storms,” I imagined Jesus’ words. “Does your house have room for any of them?”
As you can imagine, that question was fodder for much discussion.
As you can. Imagine.
What would you say?
I had a lot of questions. Jesus had a lot of stories.
I imagine Jesus saying: “After my death, my friends were all huddled together in a room. They were scared and uncertain, and in the worst emotional storm possible. They needed the strength they could draw from each other. They thought I was gone, but of course I wasn’t.”
I imagine Jesus pausing.
“Peace be with you.”
Everything was quiet.
I imagine Jesus continuing. “Those were my words to them. Those are my words to you. Build your foundation on me. Bring your neighbors into the house. Share my Good News everywhere. I love you.”
Carol Duerksen is a freelance writer and editor, and on staff of Springs Forth! Faith Formation, Inc. which publishes multi-age curriculum online.