Paint it white and call it home

Beauty for Ashes by Erin Cuccio

Many moons ago, when we were dating, there was a house near where sweet husband and I worked that encapsulated all our hopes and dreams.  We thought it was gorgeous.  Beautiful.  Magnificent.  We would often talk about the “house on the corner” knowing exactly what the other was referring to with no explanation.  Years passed, we got older, and we realized that kids and bills seem to have a funny way of taking priority over your dream home realizations.  The idea of a house so grand became faded with silly giggles, goldfish crumbs, and dump trucks.

And then one day I passed the house on the corner, and they had painted its exterior white.  It was a glorious creamy mixture of brick and stone and texture that made the heavens sing and my heart skip a beat.

Something about painting that same house white revived the dream in my heart. Even still it was far beyond our budget, but there was an elegance and perfection in the outside appearance of that home.  I began to give way to the idea that painting a home white was the fix.  And in my never-ending obsession for real estate, I would send pictures of random houses to sweet husband with the caption, “Paint it white and call it home.”

But Erin, the kitchen in this house is horrible…  The bedrooms are tiny… There is no tub in the master bath… There is no garage to park our cars…  And yet, my vision was clouded by the simple idea that the house could be beautiful if we could only paint it white and call it home.

Somewhere in the midst of that, I realized that’s the exact approach we take in our real, everyday lives.  In a world of social media and technology overload, there’s just about nothing that seven filters or selective posting cannot make beautiful on the outside.  Inside our four walls, we may be hurting.  We may feel like we have failed.  We may be drowning in our circumstance. We may feel shame.  We may see no way out.  But as long as it looks pretty on the outside… just paint it white and call it home.

Here’s the thing about God though, He’s not content with an outdated kitchen, a master bath that needs updating, or no place for your cars to park.  God does not just want for things to be pretty on the outside.  He wants to restore every part of the inside too.  Unfortunately, absolutely everything about that idea has become contrary to what society tells us.

We don’t want anything less than perfection exposed.

We don’t want to seem like a bad mother.

We don’t want to show our face when our hair is a mess or our makeup isn’t done.

We fall prey to what other people might think.

We fear tearing down the walls that protect the mess of the inside.

We actively portray a perfection projection in every aspect of our lives. 

But it’s not enough.  If we are ever to be truly happy, to be truly set free, to live in the restoration God has called us to and tied up to the hopes and dreams He has placed in our hearts, we must let Him do the heavy lifting.  We must let HIM paint the outside white and then call our hearts home—wherein He can begin His good work.

Can I let you in on a secret?  With Him, there is no renovation project too big.  No kitchen beyond repair.  No bedroom that isn’t salvageable.  No bathroom for which He cannot see the beauty.  Your failure of yesterday does not diminish God’s value on your life today or His purpose for your tomorrow.  There is beauty in restoration… Let Him in.  To paint it white.  And call it home.


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Posted by on Jan 17 2018. Filed under Editorial Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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