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.