Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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One Room

April 18, 2024

Kirk Manton

Samuel Groom lived in one room.

Some say, “. . . a shack, he bound by lack.”

But Sam said, “Free, I can read, you see.”

A bed, a chair, a stack of books,

To Sam, a world in every nook.

Each page a window —

Endless skies of long hellos

And no goodbyes.

He stored them up and let them run.

He savored every setting sun.

Gave away his house, and car,

said, “. . . gave it all to travel far.”

Sam never left our little town.

They say, “after her, he’d broken down.”

But that’s because they never face

How future hope is present Grace.

“She’d gone ahead of him,” he’d say,

So here he’d travel until that day

He would join her there,

Where LIFE begins.

It finally starts and never ends.

Now, Sam is THERE and we’re still here,

Held by slack and lots of fear.

But now for those who trust, they’ll find,

Walking free with shackles down,

There’s a vacant room on the edge of town.


Loss, or other dramatic moments in our lives, are opportunities for God to call forth a season of remaking. People may not understand the choices we make during the change, they may judge, reject, and criticize us. For that matter, we may not fully understand the new paths we are walking, and we may hear the same type of hurtful voices coming from within ourselves.

The same God who calls us to make changes does not abandon us to find our own way through them. He has instructed us how to enter that season, promised to lead us and provide us with everything we need to see us through that season in a healthy, joy filled way. 

God does not call to us to understand, He calls us to ask, listen, follow, and rest in His promises of GRACE.

Perhaps Samuel followed God’s instructions in reaction to his wife’s death.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6 ESV)

Perhaps he asked God for wisdom by praying, “WHAT NOW! We had such plans. . . .” God’s answer came according to Sam’s unique personality and relationship with Him; emotionally or intellectually, in a still small voice, a scripture, or in silence. Believing what God said, that He answers everyone, Sam listened and followed. Then in the face of the reaction of those around him, he did not doubt — Sam was not tossed, he was free. 

He may have heard, “I keep My promises. She is OK, and you will join her soon. Until then, simplify your life, draw close to me and travel with me — read! Continue working and when you get home each day, read — I will show you the wonders of my world, who I am, and how much I love you.”

Like Sam, I am in the midst of my own remaking. Recently, I almost lost my dear wife to a kidney stone that went septic. After one of the many times visiting her in the ICU, I heard God say (in His unique way for me), “Now is the time to move.”

Rachelle and I had been talking about moving East to live closer to our new grandkids for years, but we had had no deadline in place. In 2020, I left a 15-year position at a large church to help start a new Christian film studio. Three years in, I still felt that moving away would be around five or so years off. Once the studio was well established and financially secure, I would feel comfortable leaving — God had other plans.

I knew God had promised to meet our needs . . .

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

We prayed and He said, “Now!” We followed, and the remaking began — what a challenging, freeing adventure it continues to be! 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28 ESV) 

Fear not, for I am with you. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

Life offers us many rooms to live in. As for me, I choose the One Room where I am free — where He leads, and I follow!

Going Deeper

In his book, A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken describes the scene when he was leaving Oxford for America and saying farewell to his mentor, C.S. Lewis. Lewis said to Vanauken, “I shan’t say goodbye. We’ll meet again.” The great apologist then plunged into the traffic to cross the street while Vanauken watched his friend walk away. When Lewis got to the other side of the street, he turned around, anticipating that his friend would still be standing there. With a grin on his face, Lewis shouted over the great roar of cars, “Besides—Christians never say goodbye.”

Is God also calling you into a remaking season? If so, let’s join Samuel and ask, listen, follow, trust, and enjoy the freedom that the GRACE of His promises and leading brings.

Additional Threads: Romans 14:4, Psalms 116:15, John 15:1-8, Joshua 24:15, Galatians 5:1.

The featured image, “One Room,” is courtesy of Kirk Manton and is used with his kind permission for Cultivating.


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