The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Opinion Column

house renovation 750pb
An opportunity to re-furbish our lives?

As she watches the house next door being re-furbished, Anna Heydon questions whether we should take the opportunity to refurbish our lives as our lifestyle starts to resume.

A few weeks ago my next-door neighbours moved out. The next day the builders arrived and started work. But, 3 weeks later, and they still haven’t built anything! What they have done is used a pneumatic drill to break up the floors, torn down walls, ripped out cabinets, and removed skip load after skip load of rubble. Some of it was painful to watch, especially seeing the garden destroyed which my neighbours had loved and nurtured.
I guess that, for many people, the last year has felt like that house. Everything has been ripped out including what was precious and loved. It has been hard work, painful and seemed to go on forever. What’s left feels like an empty shell. And I believe that it is right that we grieve together and recognise the pain of those who feel that their hearts have been forcibly removed along with everything else.
But today one of the builders showed me some of the rubble in the skip, and explained to me that they had to break up the floors because they were crumbling. However, they also told me that the work of destruction in the house has now finished. It’s time for the work of rebuilding, filling, decorating, and furnishing to begin.
I believe that moment is coming for us as individuals and communities too. The vaccine is being rolled out and we are beginning to look to the future. The time will come for replacing the crumbled floors with firm foundations, restoring some of what has been lost and introducing new things too.
The Bible gives us hope that even when everything seems desolate and destroyed there is hope for new life and fresh starts. God speaks in the book of Isaiah to the crushed people of Israel that “your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
And in this we face a choice. We can choose how the house is restored. In the book of Philippians, Paul writes: “from now on brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely and all that is worthy of praise.” It seems to me that these would be ideal things to fill our lives and communities with.

This article first appeared on the Imagine Norfolk Together website.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.com.

Anna Heydon 200AT

Anna Heydon is Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together in Great Yarmouth, a joint venture between the Diocese of Norwich and the Church Urban Fund, a national organisation set up by the Church of England to combat unmet needs in communities.

 Imagine Norfolk Together 


The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users. 


We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here. 


Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk