Noises in the Attic

Posted: October 30, 2012 in Daily Living
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The loud, rhythmic banging that reverberated through the walls had been going on for weeks. Though no one knew what it was, the sound bore an unnerving resemblance to a washing machine that was dreadfully out of balance. Only louder. It came unbidden at annoying intervals throughout the day, making conversation difficult and tension headaches commonplace.

Some thought a punch press might have been placed too close to an adjoining wall in the neighboring shop. Others surmised a jackhammer. Whatever it was, something had to be done. Morale was down, annoyance was up. Speculation began to give way to the rather satisfying thought of storming the business next door.

Then a strange thing happened. A visitor came to call. A visitor from next door. And, while preliminary pleasantries were exchanged, this same neighbor wondered out loud ‘where all the banging might be coming from?’


The neighbor knew full well where the noise was coming from! Didn’t he?

But once both parties began to converse, it became apparent that an internal investigation was warranted.

After a trip to the attic, it was discovered that a long length of unsecured water pipes was the culprit. Without proper attachment, the pipes were susceptible to something called water hammering, whenever a faucet was used or a toilet was flushed. The echo from bouncing pipes threw the sound in such a way that neither party knew where it came from, making it easy to cast blame.

It’s human nature to look at others when we find ourselves caught in a situation or issue that isn’t easily resolved. My third graders do it all the time. Okay, so do I.

The danger of an ‘outer’ gaze is that in keeping our focus on the person who wronged us, the addiction that entices or the relationship that is beyond repair we are easily convinced that there is nothing we can do. Right? Wrong. There is always something to be done. We, like those shop owners, need only conduct an internal investigation. One that begins with Jesus’ invitation to ‘come.’

“Come” he says, “All you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Come, all you who are worn down by the unsolvable and the unbearable. Come to my open, loving arms.

It is only in this warm, accepting Presence that we dare to pray David’s desperate prayer when he said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Therein lies our beginning, one that will lead us on a path to healing. Therein lies our hope.


* Matthew 11:28

Psalm 139:23-24

Image courtesy of nuttakit/

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