Saturday, September 02, 2006

Majestic Porch

Last May, my entire family journeyed to Florida for vacation, all 9 of us. My beloved and I drove down with my son-in-law Yibby (childhood nick name), and Lovie. Sweet Pea, my precious grandson (Little Bud), and Kindred Spirit flew, so that Little Bud would not have to endure the 12 hour car trip. My other son-in-law, Sammy (inside joke regarding his feet, which look like big, thick sandwiches) flew with My Buddy as neither of them could stay the entire week.

We rented a house in a beautiful community called Watercolor. There were blocks and blocks of Victorian homes just minutes from the beach, some inhabited by their owners, and some built as investment properties. There was a community pool across the street from our house. Our rental home was provided with four bicycles, which we used every day to ride miles and miles of bicycle trails within and surrounding the area.

I rode my bike for hours every day. One of my favorite rides was to a neighboring resort area called Seaside. Every day, I took off for Seaside, cut through the touristy shopping areas, and headed for the residential area just off of the beach. Like Watercolor, the Seaside community is a mixture of residences and rental properties. My favorite home was a two-story colonial bed and breakfast with a majestic porch. Each day, I stopped in front of the house and stared. I even took my camera one day and surreptitiously took pictures of that porch. It was breathtaking. A real Gone With the Wind southern plantation colonial home. I fully expected to see Scarlett O’Hara pull up in a horse and buggy, wearing those parlor drapes, or to find her out back in the dried up garden blowing the dust off of that radish, “As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again!”

Occasionally, I would coerce another family member to go with me to see Majestic Porch. One day, Kindred Spirit and I were parked on our bikes in front of the house. I could not take my eyes off of that porch. Kindred Spirit said, “Why don’t you knock on the door and ask to see the house? It is a bed and breakfast after all. I’m sure the owner will be flattered and show you around.”

I mustered up my courage, leaned forward, and headed for the porch. As I reached the top step, the door flung open and a grim-looking older woman filled the doorway. “Yes?” she drolled. Absolutely terrified, I plastered on my cheery face and stammered, as her eyes bored into me. “Hi. Um. I noticed that this is a, uh, bed and breakfast. We are vacationing in the area and, well, uh, I thought that next time, er, maybe we might consider staying here, you know. Your home is so beautiful. Do you have any, uh, information we can take with us?”

She continued glaring at me for a moment then turned to go inside, pulling the door almost shut as I craned my neck to get a glimpse inside. She returned to the porch a moment later and thrust a piece of paper in my hand. “Here,” she said. “These are the prices.” With that she turned and went inside, shutting the door firmly behind her. Kindred Spirit and I just stood there. We looked at each other and, shoulders slumped, walked slowly back to our bikes. “Sorry, Mom, my mother-in-law usually has a good response when she does that kind of thing.”

We rode our bikes back in silence. I was so disappointed. I assumed that, based on the beauty of that fa├žade that the inside must be just as beautiful, but I was wrong, because the beauty of the inside is dependent on those who inhabit it.

How often do I do that with people? How often do I assume that an attractive person is warm and sweet and worth getting to know? How often do I not even notice someone who might not be as attractive on the outside? How many times have I taken the time to get to know someone, only to find them more attractive once I did, because the beauty of their heart transcended their outer appearance?

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I Samuel 16:7


Sharon said...

That is a great analogy! I love it!! Sooo true. Excellent post!
Any rain yet?

FruitfulSpirit said...

Becky I had planned (and still will) to read several postings. But this one just made me want to comment. Your story was written so well it pulled me along wanting to see inside also. But your ending just floored me at the spin you were able to make from it. I am very impressed. Very nice posting.

I am working my way through the CWO blogroll stopping in to say hi, glad to meet you! Have a happy Friday!