I recently read an article about Gazan artist Nidaa Badwan who retreated to her bedroom after being assaulted by Hamas officers. For a couple of months, she barely lived, contemplating suicide and fearing leaving her family’s home because of the religiosity and conflict in the Gaza Strip. Eventually, she started enjoying her isolation and beautifying her 100 sq. ft. bedroom. It is now the subject of an art project and she has left her home only a handful of times over the last year. She says of her space, Everything is beautiful, but only in my room, not in Gaza. I’m ready to die in this room unless I find a better place.
In a way, this reminds me of Kara. She spends a lot of time her in own bedroom these days, and as she recently blogged, she has her favorite corner—her corner of intention—where she keeps her Bible and journal and meds and treasures. Her bedroom is beautiful, her taste is feminine and exquisite and welcoming, but this little nook is especially sweet. Here she can write, pray, read, dream.
As I type, I am reminded of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, but Kara’s room is so different from Ms. Woolf’s or Ms. Badwan’s. You see, while Kara’s space is perfectly her and she is its custodian, she also means for it to be a safe and inviting place for others. How many hours have I spent next to her in bed listening to her whispered thoughts? How many cuddles has she shared with Von there? How many lovely pictures have been photographed in that space? And how many thousands of hours of snuggles with her beautiful children have happened in this room? The walls absorb the sounds of sad sobs and expectant laughter and murmured dreams.
Like Ms. Badwan anticipates for herself, Kara will likely die in her room. Yet it is not a place of gloom or fear or despair. No, it is a place of hope, joy, peace. It is a place where you feel the warmth of Kara’s heart and the warmth of Jesus’s love for her. It is a sacred place where Heaven will open up to summon Kara from this world to her new Home. It is a place that I will remember fondly. A place of meaning and purpose. Of beauty and a nearness to God. Of crafting her space Kara explained, Having that special nook creates charm and warmth and a desire to land someplace beautiful to take in the beauty of Jesus.
She has done exactly that, and I wonder what corner of my home I can do the same. A place for quiet contemplation where I can meditate on the truth of Jesus—Immanuel, God with us.
Do you have a special place of beauty in your home? If so, how did you create this space? If not, is this a space you would like to create? What can you do to whittle out a nook for the purpose of being quiet before the Lord and inviting others to do the same? If you are married, would your spouse benefit from a space like this?