My childhood was clean and well kept; and my mother a “homemaker.” From my earliest memories the smell of cookies as I arrived home from school or Sunday roast enveloping the house as we clamored in from Church, these hospices always awaited us. There was order and I always wondered why the living room was so perfect and yet seldom used, but still it was dusted and the lemony scent of pledge adorned each surface. My mother, never busy or in a rush, her home is an extension of her peaceful, well kept, beauty and warmth.
As a small child amidst the whine of the vacuum and the polishing and dusting there was the background soundtrack of the local ‘easy listening’ station. I would often find my mom at rest in the middle of the ‘work’, she might pause to read or be reflecting over a dusted piece or maybe she was attune to the lyric of a Roberta Flack ballad? It would be, of course, short-sighted to simplify the ease and rhythm of her manner with want of responsibility or breadth of duty. She led Bible studies, sang in the choir, often worked outside the home, chaired committees, hosted parties and a litany of other duties accumulated by a Pastor’s wife and yet in all of these there remained and remains ease and rush-less grace.
The sacrament of the ordinary leaves one in reflective wonder if only they can fix their ear to the whisper. There is a bush afire before each of us. There is a voice in the thunder, salvation in flesh and blood, truth in hewn stone and there is sanctuary in a kept house. I have yet to meet someone who did not recognize my mother as grace and beauty personified; and yet even then they only see a shadow of a well kept house.
-For do you not know you are God’s dwelling place-