On Houses

24May12

“The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.” Matthew 7:25

 

Jesus, the carpenter, imbues the building of houses with extra-special sacredness. But he does not specify how the house must look or what materials to use, other than that it must be built on a foundation of rock. And so faithful Christians (and others) throughout the world build houses on strong foundations in accordance with the words of Jesus, in many styles.

Recently, several members of the church have been completing some minor repairs and painting the house we are living in, which is the parsonage for the local congregation here in Resistencia. Through their work, we have observed some of the differences in construction.

Because of the threat of termites, there is not generally an inner frame of timber, but instead, the walls are made of solid brick. This provides extra stability to the houses. However, the brick permits no straightforward way to attach utilities, such as piping and electrical wires, so these are often attached to the brick and then plastered in. Gaspar Imfeld, below, is repairing some of the plastering.

 Another big difference is heat; houses here are meant to stay cool, whereas houses where we’re from are built to stay warm. The brick helps with this, but, without any insulation, it does get cold at night, and we also hear more of what’s going on outside. At first we were a little put off by some of these differences but we’ve come to appreciate why things are done here the way they are.

A pastor here had once been to the United States and conducted a little of his own architectural exploration, discovering the interior dry wall common to U.S. houses. What for us is a sensible way to rout utilities and locate insulation, for him seemed like sheer flimsiness. “I hesitated to lean again the wall for fear of falling through!” he declared. Further, he wondered aloud about resonances between the sturdy appearance but brittle endurance of dry-wall architecture, and projections of U.S. military and economic strength abroad, compared with sobering domestic realities. Perhaps he had a point. All the same, I don’t believe he’s had to insulate his dwelling against a blustery New England winter!

A photo my mother took during last year´s October blizzard

What is your house like? What does it say about the people who live in it and the environment around it? What are its foundations?

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2 Responses to “On Houses”

  1. My house is a standard Track home in California.
    It is in a poor environment and stands out because of its youngness in comparison to the older more delapitated homes. I think that because my husband and I are young home owners it shows our hard work and diligence. it is built on the foundation of God. great post! thank you for sharing.


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