The House With The Unused Room
by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)
Once upon a time I was interested in buying a home, and sure enough, one caught my eye! It wasn’t too far from where I was working, the price seemed reasonable, and it seemed to have plenty of living space.
There was something else that caught my eye, namely, a room with a small glass window, facing north-west, as I recall. My thoughts were that the room might be a good place for a study, or for storing my model trains, or any similar use. I thought it was a great “piece of the pie”, so to speak, and my home-owner juices really began to bubble!
So, I made an appointment with a realtor and she told me all about the house. We looked at the main rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and it may have had a basement. Most everything looked fine, except that I wondered where the staircase was, so that we could see that upstairs room.
When I asked the realtor about it, I couldn’t categorize her reaction. Have you ever seen a realtor at a loss for words? She was, and eventually stammered something along the lines of “I guess they just didn’t want to keep access to that room, whatever it was”. In all fairness, maybe she didn’t know what had happened and simply spoke what came to her mind first.
Needless to say I didn’t go any further with my dreams for that piece of property but that was due to other things. Besides, it may have been a lot of money to finance the access to a room that was already part of the house! And I certainly wouldn’t have had the cash to make it happen.
We can make a few observations from this house with the unused room. First, one of the previous owners had clearly made a deliberate choice to close off access to that upstairs room. I understand, of course, that extra room means extra money to keep it warm or cool, depending on the season. Less room, less expense—I get it. And it may have been cheaper to put up some drywall to close off a room than pay the heat bill!
Second, God wants to seal off certain things from us and for us. The nation of Israel faced a number of what seems like restrictions, but then they would have had God’s blessings had they followed God’s instructions. They didn’t need to be copies or imitations of the surrounding, pagan, ungodly nations—but that’s exactly what happened. And they paid dearly for this rebellion against God. The Old Testament speaks plainly of this.
Finally, this modification to the house tells me that there was plenty of room for something, but because it can’t be accessed, it can’t be used. Have we built up walls when we could have built stairs, making the space or access productive? Unused, it didn’t profit anyone or anything.
Why not look to use what is available, and not close it off?