Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What you see isn't always what you get.

It's no secret that HGTV is the background to my life these days.  It is probably not good for my already dreaming heart to watch House Hunters International, but I indulge anyway.  My favorite episodes are when people happen upon a heap of rubbish house with many needed renovations but a good view, and decide to buy it, because they see it as an opportunity to make it their own, or to get away from it all, or because they are visionaries and love this sort of project.
One of the shows on HGTV that makes me nervous is Get It Sold, where people who have been having a difficult time selling their house get tips on how to make their house appear better.  I should say, I'm not necessarily against when they do obvious things on the show, like cleaning, and adding furniture to rooms to show potential.  I'm even not opposed to adding some paint to walls to make a room more inviting.  What makes me nervous is when they start spray-painting refrigerators to make them match other kitchen appliances, sticking fake veneer-ish tiles to the kitchen floor to give it that nice tiled look, and spray-painting the brown patches on the grass to make the yard look green.  I know these folks are probably low on time and money, but I would hate to buy a house only to find out that certain things only appeared to be what they were (whether the kitchen floor is ugly underneath the fake tile, or when the fake tile starts pealing away, I the new owner am going to have to replace the kitchen floor eventually...resenting the fact that the previous owner had pulled the wool over my eyes.  Maybe that's why House Hunters International is much more appealing.  Those buyers know when they're getting a pile of crap -- and they buy it anyway.  People, I think, like to know what they're getting into (though, if you are having a hard time selling your house, maybe take some advice and do some legitimate fixes that would be more appealing to a buyer, instead of trying to hide blemishes).
Sure, you could spray paint the front of this house to up its curb appeal...

...but it doesn't change the fact that it has no floor....

...or back wall.  Did I mention that it's lakeshore property though?
Get It Sold would take this birdhouse and add a fake back wall and floor, and spray paint the whole thing a pleasant color.  Maybe even add a curtain to a window they fashioned with paint.  HH International would say, "It is what it is. But it has a lot of potential and is in a great location."  Which one would you rather buy (though they are essentially the same house)?

On this same note, I recently just finished the book Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society, by Tim Willard and Jason Locy.  I have mixed feelings about this book.  I would definitely not be against you reading it.  But it was definitely one of those books where sometimes the authors hit the nail on the head, and sometimes they missed it.  Or they just hit it in a different way than I would have (this analogy is falling apart).  I agree that we as humans like to put up walls (Veneer) and appear a certain way to keep up with societal norms/the Joneses....and that we as Christians have been called to something more extraordinary.  But the third quarter of the book just seems so flowery and floaty and....kind of blog-like in its style.  There were times when I wanted to write an argument in the margins (but, it is not my book to do that was laying in our apartment because Steve was reading it for a book study.  Laura has ample amount of time and sees a book lying around...she's going to read it).   I also wondered at times how someone who wasn't well-versed in the Bible would read it in comparison to someone who is.  I wonder who would like the book more?

Anyway, it's a pretty quick read, and if you're strapped with time, maybe just read the first few chapters and then skip to chapter 10 and read to the end.  You could still get inspired to live a more authentic life, in both your relationship with God, and with others (love God, love your neighbor) by reading this abbreviated version.  Just like I would rather buy a house that has obvious problems over a house that has hidden problems, so too would people rather have relationships with others who are not hiding something.  Community.  Authenticity.  All words we like to throw around, but it is easier said than done.  There is probably some sort of an analogy about a Carpenter I could throw in there, but I won't.

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