after my eleven years alive daughter R was born, M and i began the process of looking for another home.
we had a short list of requirements: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a swimming pool.
to many a backyard pool seems a luxury. in the low desert of arizona i will admit it seems like survival. an aerial view of the born-from-dust, sprawling city of phoenix will reveal bright blue patches as plentiful as the homes they hide behind.
with children eager for the outside and months of open-the-oven-door heat, having a body of water to spend time in seems invaluable. it is a chlorine-scented treasure that i have tried to never take for granted.
though it is a rare sight…when i have come across a filled in swimming pool, i have always felt pained. it was something abandoned, ruined.
friday, driving my 14 years alive C to school, i noticed a motel-turned-apartment-complex pool…packed with dirt.
what a waste. there must have been another option.
a sad ending for something that was filled with such good things.
who would decide to end something with such a good purpose?
sometimes god fills in my swimming pools.
sometimes he uses a front-end loader…patiently returning to the edge over and over, adding the end until it’s complete.
sometimes while i stand back helplessly, he takes fourteen tons of sand and gravel and in one dump-truck like tilt…finished. filled in.
things that have been filled with good things and good purpose.
(a relationship. a job. a home. a calling. a church…even a country.)
and when the dust and surprise settles, i have been left grieving what feels like abandonment…ruin. trying to understand why.
that answer is different each time…. but also each time…
he builds or brings me to another. (in his time)
and there is gradual to sudden understanding as the invitation to step in is once again extended…
in recent years, i’ve noticed less surprise and grief . because i am learning:
filling in does not devalue the past.
it does not erase every shared, joyful, noisy, life-saving moment that took place in that pool. it simply moves you. so i pick up my towel, put on my flip flops and look for what’s next.
for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
(ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV)