by Kristen

I read about a neighborhood that’s sinking. And at the same time things are surfacing—spark plugs, glass, car hoods.[1]

Turns out they built on a landfill. Voids are created as items degrade below the surface. Houses settle and crack. Depressions riddle once flat ground. Foundations give way beneath once stable structures. And what lies beneath emerges.

It’s life. The visible, aboveground structures crack under stress; they fracture and splinter; they slip; they expose the quality of the subterranean foundation.

Character—who we really are deep, or not so deep, down—rises to the surface as the temporary fills decay. Our essence starts breaking through the thinning surface.

But we fixate on the structures.

We keep patching the cracks and throwing on new coats of paint. We rearrange the furniture to cover the warps in the floor. We landscape the yard to give the illusion of level ground or to make the lumps and bumps appear intentional.

We stop at cosmetic changes when the problem’s foundational.

How many diversionary jokes can I crack to cover my shortening temper? Can spackle and paint patch my chronic impatience? Will another flowering shrub take the edge off my harsh spirit poking up where I buried it?

Am I hanging degrees on the walls to paper over the shifting instability that comes from trying to anchor identity into titles?

Really? At what point do I step onto my lumpy lawn in front of my crooked house and admit there’s a landfill under there?

It’s time to stop dealing with the structures on top and start dealing with the ground of my being.[2]

Who I am lies much deeper than job descriptions and relational roles. I am more than my resume and seat at family gatherings.

When everything else is stripped away—when the structures and the refuse are removed—I am made in the image of God, a co-heir with Christ. There is solid ground, a firm Foundation and Cornerstone on which to build.


[1] Bean, Daniel. “House Built on North Carolina Landfill Has Sinking Feeling.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 29 May 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

[2] Wiman, Christian. “A Call to Doubt and Faith, and Remembering God.” Interview by Krista Tippett. Weblog post. On Being. N.p., 23 May 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.


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