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  • Writer's pictureLou Fister

Curtain Rings

Updated: Apr 5

My dog, a loveable and very energetic Lab-Boxer mix pawed me smack in the eye. I can tell you that the resulting scratched cornea was no joke. The pain made me nauseous and the sensitivity to light made daily life almost impossible. I could not look at any electronic screen and I could not read.

 

I try to read every day. My efforts are not perfect, but I desire the outcome of that discipline so I am determined. In addition to whatever book I am reading, I try to read my Bible every day. I decided long ago that it makes no sense for me to ask for God's direction if I'm not reading the manual He already gave me. The Bible contains all types of literature and every type of story. Love, war, murder, ship wrecks, giants, goodness! It has stories that feel like a warm blanket and others that will rustle even our most calloused sensitives. It is far from a boring read.

 

I had a sock rolled up behind the lens of my glasses most of the day to block the light and try to force my eyelid to stay closed. I was exhausted by days end. I also had not accomplished much and I was sick to my stomach so I went to bed early. I hadn't read anything of course, so I flipped on my audio Bible. I usually do that with expectation, especially if I am in some sort of conundrum. I have some crazy stories about hearing just the right verses at just the right time. So, I hit play, squirmed to get comfortable and listened. I tell you truthfully that if I had heard a story about Jesus restoring eye sight, or a one eyed pirate I would not have been even a little surprised.  

Rather, it opened to the directions that God had given His traveling people about building the tabernacle; the mobile temple for His presence in the Old Testament. I admit to you that I was disappointed. This text is not new to me so I knew that what was coming was endless details about fabrics, precious stones and metals, building materials, and embroidery. Literally sentences about embroidery threads. And most of it even gets repeated. I do like the part about God giving the artists and craftsmen the talent needed to do the work. The last thing I heard, before I drifted off to sleep, was a lengthy description about silver curtain rings.

 

In the morning, after prying my eye open, I grabbed my Bible from the dining room table and flipped it open to any page just to see if I could read. I had randomly opened to the story of Solomon building the temple; the stationary building for God's presence, also in the Old Testament. (1 Kings 6) I'm sure there is no coincidence in God's timing or His humor. The tabernacle last night, and then the temple this morning. Usually, when God directs me in this way, He is illuminating not just something from His Word, but something I specifically need for a current situation.  Normally, I would keep reading but the page was still blurry and my eye was still too light sensitive. So I just walked around the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, and tried to think through what God might be asking me to focus on.

 

I am surely no Bible scholar. I don't know all the meaning of the details given about the tabernacle and the temple. There is much symbolism and many signposts to Jesus. I do know that while God's presence was known in those places, ultimately God didn't choose to live in either. Today, in the New Testament age, God's presence is not limited to one specific building. His spirit lives in us - a gift because of the work of Jesus (Romans 5, Ephesians 3 and more)

 

I got to thinking about what I had heard the night before. All those grand details to build a proper place for God to dwell. I tried to remember but I just kept thinking about the silver curtain rings, a small detail given the scope of the project. Why do we need to know about silver curtain rings? I guess because every little detail about the place where God lives is important. If He cared so much about the details of the building He was going to live in, how much more He must care about the details of the person He is going to live in.

 

Maybe you are on the front end of your faith journey and God is building you for the first time. To you I say enjoy the journey and don't take shortcuts. If you do, you will be like me and need rebuilt and that is rough. Loss had taken everything from me. The tangible stuff like home, job, and health - and the intangible like confidence, purpose, and hope. My faith stood but it required renovation. I can tell you it was a hard road but it was good. When you get rebuilt by God He removes all the substandard man-made bricks in your foundation and replaces them with solid ones formed by His own hands and created to withstand. And then He decorates! Imagine how the King might adorn His new house. Surely with attention to detail and with precious metals not faux ones - like silver curtain rings.  After all, He is building a house for His own presence to live in and then work through.


He is the master craftsman and He's building His masterpiece. (Ephesians 2) The details matter. Reconstruction might hurt and it might take time but the result is a home fit for The King.  I know a number of people going through this - you know who you are. If God has set to the task of rebuilding you, allow Him, this is His mercy in action…one curtain ring at a time.

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