…. Tom was one of the people from the 50-year-old and above ministry training group. It was a snowy January morning when we met at the McDonald’s closest to the sanctuary. He was seated towards the back and asked me to join him. Fast food always tastes better in good company, so we ate brunch together.
Tom’s testimony was interesting enough to listen to for the next two hours. As a father figure, he was fun to be around, and from that morning forward, we always took time to talk to one another.
He had been a building contractor with plenty of construction experience and offered to look at Primrose House. We planned a late afternoon in mid-March. Neither of us wanted to go inside the condemned building, so all of his assessment was done by looking around the exterior of Primrose House.
He said, “This is going to take a lot of work, but if you have a vision and the resources to get it done… start looking for someone to get the measurements on those windows… make sure your roofer knows what he is doing… you have a good foundation to start with… that’s good, but this back porch will have to go if the rocks can’t be shored up…”
I wanted to purchase the house next door for its lot. A spray-painted date of 2013 on the back of the home indicated the year the city had condemned it. The double sized lot would require more fencing, but either I would not get the house and none of this mattered or I would get the house and everything would come together.
The siding was missing everywhere except the front. The south wall lay on the ground next to the structure someone once called home.The innerpart of the house, visible to all, reminded me of an open-faced guacamole sandwich that had been left outside overnight. Mold darkened the walls of the bedroom and a bathtub lay close to the edge. The visible crawl space beneath the floor had enough height to stand in. I realized the siding had probably been stolen off the house and I felt sorry for whoever had been taken advantage of by thieves.
Tom and I both agreed there was nothing about the house that warranted renovation. All the material seemed to be substandard except for the 2×4 pieces of lumber still attached to mushy plywood.
We walked carefully around the area. Both of us were wearing thin-soled shoes that could easily be punctured by random nails attached to the scattered building pieces.
He said, “You’re going to need a lot of help for this to work. If you get the place, I can’t do too much, but I will do what I can when I can.” Our friendship was pretty comfortable and I was not going to strain it by making ungodly requests.
I could see concern in his face, and briefly saw my father’s blue eyes in his. “Tom, I appreciate who you are in Christ. Prayer is a good place to start.”
….To be continued ….