I knew instantly that I would love to live there. The house sat right on the edge of the hill, surrounded by views from nearly every window. Everything was so quiet and it seemed worlds apart from the noisy street where we live. Since it was for sale and no one was living in the home I stepped outside the car with camera in hand and walked around the house. I walked to the back to see what views future homeowners will enjoy. My sweetheart quickly joined me and in a few minutes we were standing on the backyard deck high above the ground. The view almost took my breath away! So peaceful, so serene, so much of the beauty I love in the Pacific Northwest. While peeking through the windows I discovered that the kitchen sink is right at the corner of the house -- this is the view from the corner windows over the sink. (I would be willing to wash a lot of dishes just to look at this!)
As we drove away I told my sweetheart that it was a lovely house but I was very happy to go back to my little home that God gave us. This song by Ira Stanphil came to mind and I've seen humming it ever since.
I’m satisfied with just a cottage below,
A little silver and a little gold;
But in that city where the ransomed will shine,
I want a gold one that’s silver lined.
I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop,
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old;
And someday yonder we will never more wander,
But walk the streets that are purest gold.
Though often tempted, tormented, and tested,
And like the prophet my pillow a stone;
And though I find here no permanent dwelling,
I know He’ll give me a mansion my own
Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely;
I’m not discouraged, I’m heaven bound.
I’m just a pilgrim in search of a city,
I want a mansion, a harp, and a crown.
I know that the home we saw is not a mansion by the world's standards. I know there are houses that truly are mansions but this house is much bigger than mine (at a cost much more than mine!). It seems like a mansion to a lot of people. I thought of the little home in Mexico where I stood with a precious Christian sister. She was a gracious hostess and quickly invited me in -- two rooms, no plumbing, dirt floor, chickens and dogs running in an out. Yet she was as happy as I because she knew God's faithfulness and grace. She was thankful to have a home built of concrete blocks, with a "real" roof built by friends God had sent her way. Many people in her neighborhood had homes made of sticks and cardboard and they hoped to be fortunate enough to have blue plastic tarps for roofs. My humble little house would be a mansion to Marta and her neighbors. I am so blessed! Someday she and I be together again and we will each have a mansion - a real mansion - because Jesus said,
"In My Father’s house are many mansions;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself;
that where I am, there you may be also."