The year I turned ten, my brothers and I decided to build a clubhouse. Our decision, however, did not go without opposition. Living in a three story house with relatives, meant we all shared one back yard. One day, I overheard a conversation my parents had with my grandfather and my uncle. I recall the term “eye-sore” being used more than once. At some point, however, my grandfather and uncle must have relented. After much deliberation, it was decided that we could have our clubhouse till it was time for my grandmother to plant her flowers in the spring.
Joyfully we went right to work. Most of our building materials came from Weber’s lot. At Weber’s lot, treasures that only a ten-year old could appreciate were available for the taking: two by fours with only a couple of nails to pull out, a metal shelf with only a dent or two, and a perfectly good step-ladder with only one rung missing. Our local grocer supplied us with discarded wooden fruit crates. We raised money for nails by collecting pop bottles and turning them in for cash: 2 cents for the small ones and 5 cents for the large ones.
Laying the foundation and erecting the four corners of our rectangular structure was as far as we got before running into technical difficulties. While we worked, my grandfather sat on the patio reading his paper. From time to time, he would make a suggestion, or measure and then, saw a piece of wood. Sometimes Uncle John helped us hammer nails, and once Uncle Frank stopped by to help us put a latch on the door. Soon the whole family was involved. My grandmother provided a piece of linoleum for the floor, my aunt, an area rug, and my mom, a flashlight and snacks. My Dad helped us paint.
We enjoyed our clubhouse that fall and winter, but before long, it was time for my grandmother to plant her flowers. With heavy hearts, we tore down the clubhouse. In truth, springtime called us to enjoy other outdoor activities and the initial excitement and enthusiasm for the clubhouse had waned. What remained intact was the solidarity that developed in our relationship with our relatives. It was a thing of beauty, to work together for a common purpose.
A church is a family. Sometimes its members do not agree on the merits of a project, but that is all right, as long as an agreement is reached and we decide to work together to achieve a common goal.
Dear Heavenly Father,
How wonderful that you let us call you Father and that you call us children. We thank you for adopting us, and for placing us in a church family. As we worship and serve you, there will be times of disagreement. Help us to discern the things that need to stay the same and those we need to change. Teach us how to work together for your eternal purposes, and to love each other through our differences.
In the name of Jesus, our cornerstone,