Carol and I were at a birthday dinner tonight for Jane, cooked by her husband Tom. While people were chatting, the tv was on in the background. I couldn't help but notice that Extreme Home Makeover was showing. I don't watch the show regularly, but I really like it a lot. Amidst a slew of shows that are about making your own living quarters better, Extreme Home Makeover is a breath of fresh air, because it's about helping others in difficult situations. If you're not familiar with the show, in each episode EHM basically selects a family that is doing inspiring, selfless work to serve their community, but are living in a home that is literally killing them, like dealing with deadly chemicals and fumes. With the help of local contractors and the community, EHM tears down the house and rebuilds another one its place which will allow the family to breathe fresh air and live freely in their new home.

Watching the community come together to build the new home is inspiring. Near the end of every episode, the community, contractors and EHM crew gather together outside the home. The family returns home on a sleek bus, having returned from an all-expenses-paid vacation. The family gets out and is greeted by this mass of people who have just spent the entire week creating their new home, a gift to a family that has done so much for its community. They haven't seen the new home yet. Then together, everyone yells "MOVE THAT BUS!" When the bus rolls away, the family finally catches a glimpse of their new home. They are speechless. They are bawling their eyes out, on the ground, and embracing those who helped build this home. For the family, the sense that everything is going to be okay finally resurfaces after many years of terrible living conditions. But the part that I think gets me the most is when I see the contractors. They also are in tears. I think inside, their hearts are crying out "thank you" to the family. "Thank you for reminding me not to take anything for granted. Thank you for helping me to dream again. Thank you for inspiring me to believe that anything is possible. And this new home, well, it doesn't compare to what you've done for me: You do what you do everyday for the community despite your circumstances."

On the surface, you can say "Extreme Home Makeover" is about helping families who are down on their luck to rebuild their homes and dreams. But I think there's a much more powerful theme at work: often the giver of a blessing is the one who ends up being the most blessed.


Unknown said…
i agree..i think the blessings are sometimes found in the good actions directed to people..simply people
Unknown said…'s me..gary

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