I wanted to write an article on filling big walls.  I moved last year from a small condo townhouse to a much larger home in the country.  My new house has big walls and I didn’t have much to fill them with.  Getting large pictures proved to be quite costly so I decided to fill the spaces with collections.  Here is one such collection:

I took some fun pictures of the boys, used a computer program to make them sepia-toned, printed them and put them in matching inexpensive frames I got at Walmart.  I layed out this collection on the floor first and carefully measured and used a level when hanging them.  I was quite pleased with the result.  I put the little word “love” in the collection because (a) I do love my boys and (b) as reminder to love them when they are behaving in ways that makes loving them more challenging for me.

I’m proud to say that this arrangement stayed like this for some time.  Then the inevitable happened.  My boybarians stampeded down the hallway in a testosterone-driven whirlwind and a couple of frames and that little word “love” crashed to the ground.  Amazingly, I didn’t get angry.  I picked up the broken pieces of glass and the word “love” now in three pieces and talked to them about being a bit more careful inside the house.  I knew that they hadn’t stormed down that hallway intending to cause damage.  They were boys being boys and an accident had happened.

The next time I was at Walmart I got some more frames and fixed that part of the broken montage.  That little word “love” though stayed on the stairs in three pieces for a while.  The extension cord for my hot glue gun had gone missing and heaven forbid that I should buy a new one until the whole house had been upturned and the missing part found.  As an aside, the missing extension cord did turn up not long after I bought a whole new glue gun.  (Big sigh.)  I put the word “love” together but it’s not quite the same as it was.  You can see that it was broken and that an amateur glued it.

I really like that little word “love” now.  It so speaks to me of my own imperfect love.  I blow it with the boys and things come crashing down.  Our relationship is broken for a time.  Sin does that.  It separates.  No amount of time will heal that separation.  It takes effort to mend broken love.  I think the glue is humility and forgiveness.  I have to apologize to my guys from time to time for the things I say and do and the things I neglect to say and do.  What follows is usually a hug.  That’s the holding together of the broken parts until they are back together again.  It’s never perfect.  Sin has consequences and leaves scars.  I can kick myself over this or I can remind myself that my job is to teach my boys.  They too will (and do) love imperfectly.  They will blow it and things will come crashing down for them.  Relationships will come apart because of their sin.  What I hope they learn from me in all my humaness is that they don’t have to leave relationships in broken pieces on the stairs.  They can do something to mend broken love.  They can apply humility and ask for forgiveness.  They can hug and have love glued back together again.

So use your walls to tell your story.  I have another wall with mismatched photo frames on it.  I am putting pictures of people that have influenced me in that collection.  It’s not complete yet.  There is more wall to fill but it’s growing.  I have another wall with “silver” plates on it.  I pick them up at used stores and garage sales simply because I really like them.  They are on a damaged wall that I couldn’t repair very well.  They hide the marks nicely and are quite a conversation piece even if they are hanging in the bathroom.  My upstairs bathroom has photos of trees gracing its walls.  I love trees and love to take pictures of them.  All the trees there are part of my past and that bathroom is one of my favourite places in the whole house.  I’ve seen people put collections of plates, vintage gloves, awards, even frogs on walls.  Quirky?  Maybe.  Got any unique wall collections in your home?  I’d love to see them.  I still have a few big walls left looking for a little inspiration.

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