When Restoration Is Not About A Home

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Listening To Words Of Life Rehabs The Soul

by Eric Elkin

Let me hear what the Lord God says because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones.
— Psalm 85:8

HGTV is a dangerous television channel for me. All I need to do is stop on it for a second while searching for something to watch and I’m trapped. If the show on the channel is entertaining, which it always seems to be, the next two hours are gone. No matter what is going on, I can’t seem to break away from a good remodeling show.


Rehab Addict is one of my favorites. The show chronicles the work of host, Nicole Curtis, who finds old homes, sometimes, in deteriorating neighborhoods, and restores them. Unlike other remodeling shows, Rehab Addict, emphasizes restoration and preservation over modernization.


The architecture of older buildings has always fascinated me. Consider the differences between pre-World War II courthouses and modern ones. Today’s buildings focus on internal function, while older structures emphasize visual appeal. Sometimes, I think we do not consider the importance of external features of a building to the soul.


Nicole Curtis is exceptional at seeing possibilities in neglected buildings. Some of the houses she has restored have been covered in cheesy aluminum siding, its unique features hidden from the average eye. Inside these homes, Curtis discovers fake walls used to mask original construction. Her finished product seems to transform the whole neighborhood.

“I’ve never enjoyed the moment because I know it can go away at any time
— Nicole Curtis

Curtis’ restoration work is not limited to buildings. For years she struggled to make ends meet as a single mother. While her show on HGTV helped restore her financial security, it did little to rehab her personal life. In recent years, she has been in and out of court with her ex-boyfriend and her mother. In 2017, she finally hit a breaking point and took time to rest and heal. Her emotional health seems to be her latest restoration project.


I was thinking of this while reading Psalm 85, a song of restoration. The words, “Let me hear what the Lord God says,” jumped out at me. Hearing what the Lord says is like having eyes that see possibilities in a hopelessly rundown home. So many people only listen to words of judgment from God. When, in fact, what the Lord wants us to hear is restoration. 


This restoration is not about a home, a building or field. The Lord God desires us to know the restoration of life. Sometimes the chaos of daily life can impact our hearing. We would do well to rest and listen to words of life.  It most likely will help you rehab your soul.

Click to read Psalm 85: 8-13

Reflection Questions:

  • How able are you to see hope in the midst of difficult situations?
  • Where do you turn to find hope?
  • What in your life stands in need of rehab?
  • How can hearing improve your spiritual health?

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