This past year I read my students The Borrowers by Mary Norton. A wonderful children’s novel about the Clocks, a family of little people who live in floorboards of an old English mansion. They live off borrowings. My 6th graders chuckled at the Clock’s creativity in making carpet from blotting paper, and cooking pots out of thimbles, their cigar box rooms with stationary wall paper, and postage stamp art work. The Clocks received such joy out of getting “real” items like a miniature chair from a doll house, so much better than improvising with a child’s block or an old pin cushion.
This year I can definitely relate! Josh and I have been doing a lot of borrowing. Though I must add that all the people from whom Josh and I “borrow” are aware of our existence and have happily consented to the arrangement :) Josh and I have the real pleasure of receiving the blessing of many borrowed things. Some so wonderful and beyond what we could have hoped and some are a little more creative. Here are a few… A borrowed house. This is one of those blessings beyond what we could have imagined. Right now we are living in NC in a little basement apartment we are “borrowing” from Dan and Phyllis Calhoun. In the Summer when we transition to Florida, some of Josh’s friends the Skinners have offered their guesthouse at the family lake house to be our temporary home. A borrowed car. Another delight! Josh’s parents just happened to be in the process of getting a new car and are letting us use their old one this year! Borrowed furniture and house hold items. Redeemer church has been our wonderful provider of tables, lamps, kitchen things and house hold items to make our little place comfortable and homey. However, in the kitchen items department I find myself having to improvise more like the borrower I am. Did you know that a wine bottle makes a decent rolling pin? Borrowed electronics. Our TV, DVD player, cell phone, printer. Yep they’re not ours either. Even borrowed clothing! One of my worries being gone from America so long was that I would come back and have no idea about what was cute to wear, and worse not have things TO wear. This has become a little less important to me over the years which I know is a healthy change in perspective. But I still like to have nice things. I have some true friends who have loaned me dresses, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc. They have given me coupons, taken me to thrift stores and provided advise. And this missionary is so thankful! I could go on… CDs, books, DVDs, tools, vacuum cleaner… All this borrowing reminds me of two things. One, we are blessed! Blessed to have so many people around us who care for us and are a part of our survival and happiness during our time in the US. The borrowing can also tempt me to be dissatisfied. It is hard to be dependent on others. It also makes me feel like a wanderer without a place to sink roots. I am reminded that Jesus himself did not have a place to rest his head. Philippians says that our citizenship is in heaven. My home really isn’t here, it’s not in Uganda either. May all our borrowings push us to know Christ better and to long for our true home in heaven. May we find joy in the rich possessions we HAVE in Him.