Sunday, July 19, 2009

Courage, redemption and restoration

Our friends John and Anne bought a wreck of a house this week.

It took courage and vision to buy something with potential that nobody else could see.

When escrow closed, I went to work alongside them, breathing new life into something forlorn and stinking.

Move out the squatter with his unspeakable porn, but do it gently and with kindness.

Get rid of the rats and mice. Cleanse the kitchen, carry out load after load of garbage, and wash out every trace of disgusting things that carry the stench of death. We were gagging and it was awful, but we did it.

Every inch was permeated with trash and dirt and decay. But the house had good bones, as my friend says. At its core, she knew there was something worth saving and I am cheering her on.

We are people who believe in restoration.

We have hope.

For nations, for communities, for our neighbors.

Even for one little white house on a hill in Clear Lake.

As the week drew to a close, we'd gotten rid of most of the junk inside. We'd hauled out the freezer full of rotting meat, dumped the buckets of evil-smelling liquids, and trashed filthy mattresses.

It's only a start. There are many loads to haul to the dump, and it'll take years to finish, but things are moving the right direction. You can feel it even though it's going to be a long and dirty task.

There's a new day coming for the little house by the lake.

You can almost hear this house start to giggle.

The old is swept out, there's a new day coming.

Already the little house begins to laugh again. We had a birthday party in the gazebo yesterday, and there will be sledding and cocoa this winter. Soon laundry will flap on the line, and when Thanksgiving comes, Anne will roast a huge turkey in the oven and smile wide in her country kitchen.

We are people of hope, and we believe. Oh yes, we believe.


Sharon Hermens said...

Wow!! I wish I had been there to help haul. I have always looked at things (houses, old furniture, whatever) to see where the beauty lies and what can be done with them!! You are a good friend indeed to pitch in!! "A friend in need is a friend indeed"!!!


Sharyn Sowell said...

They are hard-working visionaries, and it will be a beautiful home one day. Isn't it fun to take something awful and work hard and watch it shine? I'm going to post about my studio lights one of these days... one of my trash-to-treasure adventures!

Kristen Marie Photography said...

This is too cool!

I love second chances :)

Sharon Hermens said...

Also, keep us posted on the house that becomes a "home". Will love to see how it is coming along.

sharonlaneholm said...

you dont know me but am another sharon. Am a lurker on the liscense online chat room. Your art and this blog are wonderful! You have quite an eye for photography.Mostly I'd LOVE to see how that old house turns out! We flipped a condo in that condition, but a house by a lake....sigh
another sharon-