The Hardwood Floor

The varnished hardwood floor glistened and appeared new as the bright sunlight streamed through the front door and picture window of my house. I anxiously awaited my sisters’ and brothers’ response when they saw the floor. They never saw it before in the fifty years that we owned this house. When it was built, wall-to-wall carpeting was the fad. After installing the hardwood, immediately it was covered with a brown carpet. I often wondered what was below the old carpet. Was the floor really hardwood? What was its condition? Would it have to be completely refinished? When we removed the carpet, a beautiful sparkling floor appeared. Other than removing the carpet glue and nails, it looked new.

When my family arrived, they stood in awe, staring at the sparkling sun reflecting off the floor that was hidden under the drab, old carpet. None had seen it before. It was as if we had resurrected the house. As my sister said, “It’s a different place.” During and after supper, my siblings and their spouses sat together, talked about our lives, and spoke of the “old days.” Our childhood memories recalled our firm foundation, set not on a hidden hardwood floor, but on the love of God, our parents, and each other.

The hardwood floor that glistened up at each of us as we sat there symbolized the strong foundation that kept my two sisters and brothers together in joy and sorrow for almost seventy years. As we examined the memorabilia in our home, we testified to our love. For beneath our stories, another hidden floor existed, one that sustained us all these years. This is the solid spiritual foundation laid by our parents, which rooted the love that grew between us.

As you read this story, think of your own story. Reflect on your roots – the foundation of love set in your family. Think about how you continue to establish a solid foundation in your family today. Ask if there is someone or something hidden in your story that needs to be addressed. Perhaps it is a sibling who is alienated. Or is it someone who rarely is in contact with you? Can you initiate a new beginning with this person?

Is it time to get your family together and reflect on your foundation – the sweat and tears that set the foundation for who you are? If this is not possible, pray for them, giving thanks to God who makes all of life possible.

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