Mr. Chris (14)

…. Patking my car in the drive on the 1st Sunday of March, 2016, was a bold territorial move. The city owned Primrose House, but I wanted to display confidence. A young inner city sister in Christ had joined me to pray over the property. She lived and served in a Kansas City downtown homeless shelter about two miles away and had never heard of the dollar home program Landbank was offering.

We stood on the porch steps and discussed the potential fellowship opportunities if I got the house. I would not want to live there alone, and though I wasn’t looking at her as a potential roommate, she might know the person who could share housing with me.

We had made an adventure of our time after church by going to lunch, thrift store shopping, and ending the day at the Primrose property.

A man came out of a house two doors down and said hello to us. We said hi back and all three of us watched each other as he crossed the street. He walked up his driveway where his red work truck was parked facing outward. I could not see his standard 5×8 open utility trailer that often had a riding lawn mower and other large lawn tools loaded and strapped to the frame. Maybe it was stored in his garage, maybe it was behind his truck. Either way, he  was a hard-working man who knew the neighborhood better than I.

From his porch he yelled out, “You own that house?”

“No, but I am looking to buy it from Landbank, pretty sure I am going to get it,” I yelled back.

He replied, “Well I thought it was yours the way you drove your rig up in that driveway.”  I could hear the smile in his voice.

I declaratively stated with my own smile, “This house will be mine, and I am going to get the lot next to it once the house on it is torn down.” It was time for me to cross the road and introduced myself. He said his name was Chris, and that he owned the house he lived in. We exchanged a few bits of information over a hand shake before I walked back.

“I hope you get the house,” he said as I returned to the Primrose house. The sun had gone down, I could barely see his t-shirt, and his dark skin faded into the evening.

“It will be nice to have you as a neighbor,” I replied, sincerely glad that we had met.

While backing up, I said to my prayer buddy, “That’s Mr. Chris, pretty sure he is going to be my neighbor.”  She smiled and stayed quiet. Silence was our comfort zone as I drove her back to the shelter, grateful for the many things unsaid.

….To be continued ….

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