The last week or so had been rough!
Not only has Daisy turned into a major chaos maker, as she conquers the task of mobility, but our renovation project finished and I’ve been trying to put the basement back together in a way that makes the best use of the space.
We had rented a POD for the duration of the project and all of the tools, toys, sewing supplies, and extra school materials that normally live in the basement were packed up. I took advantage of the empty basement to rethink how we use the space and now am working to realize the ideas that I have for it.
Here’s the thing though: when the basement looks like a small tornado hit it, none of us is able to feel settled in our home.
I really didn’t realize how disruptive chaos was until I started putting the basement back together. As I’ve restored order down there, the stress levels of everyone in the house have decreased, and the household has become peaceful again.
Now I’m sure I could point to a bunch of particular causes of the increasing peacefulness of the household: some of us thrive on order, the job was stressing me and stressed mama makes for stressed kinder etc…..
I think though that there is a fundamentally theological answer to the stress of chaos: we cannot thrive in the midst of chaos unless we are practicing our image-bearing and bringing order out of the mess.
Restoring order, redeeming the time and space , and yes, the physical stuff of our very physical lives is Godlike. It is in a very small way a carrying out of the redemption of the universe, a picture of the Incarnation. Not just the redemption and restoration of our souls, but the necessary fixing of the physical. Healing yes, but also giving the physical world the opportunity to do what it was made to do.
We cannot live with the stuff of our lives strewn about. It stresses us because it isn’t how we were made.
We were made to bring beauty, goodness and truth to our surroundings. Order is where we begin.
Now I know that for many people order equates to an empty, sterile use of space without warmth or homeliness. But that is not how the Christian should understand order.
Look at the Creation narrative:
God separates chaos (the ocean/waters) from the land and then causes the land to produce plants that are good for food and good to look at. He creates animals as male and female pairs in a vast variety, giving them complicated relationships with each and the rest of creation and says that this work is good. He creates man and woman and gives them work to do, that continues His work of creation by tending the garden so that it would be fruitful and beautiful.
So too our work of assisting in the redemption of the world. We are to bring order adorned with beauty, reflecting the truth of Creator and creation, pointing towards goodness. It is what we were made to do.