Artist's Lane: Building on the right foundation


By Betty Slade

PREVIEW Columnist

My friend’s excitement secured a point of clarity for me. She called to say she and her husband had found the perfect house. 

“It’s a fixer-upper. There’ll be lots of work, but we plan to buy it.” 

My question to her, “How’s the foundation?”

“They found some cracks in the foundation, but it’s a great deal. Besides, it has a great view.”

View, nothing! All I heard was “cracks in the foundation“ and a huge red flag went up. I’m no builder, but you need an uncompromised foundation in order to support the walls and ceiling. Otherwise, the whole thing may come crashing down. 

Metaphorically, the Bible speaks of building a house on one of two types of foundations. We can build on shifting sand or on rock. And, when the storms in life hit, if a house isn’t built on solid ground, it will crumble. 

A sure foundation doesn’t just apply to a place of dwelling, but anything that requires a secure footing to stand. This could be a marriage, a family, even a community or government. All of these things require a strong base if they are to survive the test of time. 

When I look at the marriage of my Sweet Al and me, there is no doubt in my mind that a strong foundation kept us from detachment or demise. Be it during times of rain or squall, we have remained steadfast. Our roots are deep in our faith in God and our love for one another, come what may. 

I asked my Sweet Al what he thought was key to a successful marriage. His response, “Well, you don’t stand a chance if the husband is lazy and won’t work, or the wife nags and runs him off.”

That wasn’t exactly the direction I was going with my thought, but somewhere in there we are aligned. And that, at least, is the premise we share. 

Yes, there has to be a strong base to stand on. Equally, walls have to be parallel, which takes a plumb line of dispositioned hearts. 

It is not just marriage where build is important, either. Look at community or even our country. It is not hard to imagine what happens when balance teeters on fear versus faith. Look at what our country was founded on; now consider where we could be headed if hearts do not stay inherently placed. 

Our country’s foundation was built on God, men’s faith and a choice for freedom. Adherence to that will eventually frame how we stand.

Paul warned the church at Corinth not just how they should build, but what they should build with. He also told of what would happen when storms shake us at our core, and where our strength lies. 

Before a single grain of sand was put in place, the need for a capstone was realized in the form of one who would lay down his life so that we may live. 

Final brushstroke: Everyone knows that a divided house cannot stand. We also know that it is impossible to dodge the storms in life. What is for sure is that we can prevent being toppled in place by examining and fortifying our roots, in the origins that created us. 

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