04.30.13

Old Facade

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:05 am

The noise is unlike anything I have ever heard. It’s like an annoying mosquito, if the mosquito was enormous and instead of a high-pitched whine it made this deep, bassy noise that rattled the walls.

The landlords of our building recently decided it was time to redo the facade. A month or so ago I would have agreed. There are many cracks in the exterior, and pieces were falling into our downstairs neighbor’s yard. But now that the work has started, I am sorry I ever looked up and complained.

It starts with the scaffolding. It’s like a prison that grows up over the course of a few days. The netting they place over it blocks the sunlight, so our apartment is several shades darker.

As soon as the scaffolding is up, the jack hammering begins. Big hydraulic hammers start chipping away at the facade. The pieces fall on the scaffolding with a metallic BANG. It’s loud enough to make it hard to carry on a conversation.

Let’s not forget what it’s like to open the shutters in the morning to find a worker standing there. I should probably start wearing a robe…

It’s inconvenient, sure. There is a port-a-potty in our building’s garage for the workers to use (and it stinks). Parking in the street is a mess with all of the extra vehicles. But is it worth it? Absolutely. You can’t just patch over old facade and expect the building to look right. The color would never be the same, and with the salty sea air of Ancona a quick repair would never last. You have to dig and hammer and drill to get out the old stuff that isn’t strong enough to hold the new stucco.

One of my favorite parts of church planting is walking people through steps that are very similar to redoing the stucco on an apartment. Except instead of new stucco we’re talking about new hearts.

Right now Marcus and I are going through a study on baptism and how to become a Christian with three people from our church (our youngest son included). I love watching that “Aha!” moment when a truth from the Bible hits them for the first time, and they see how silly it is too hold on to the “old stucco” in their lives. Is it painful to chip away at the old? Yes, every time. But is it worth it? Absolutely. Thanks for praying!

Until next month…