Thursday, March 27, 2014

This Old House

That Old House always made me cringe.

It seriously creeped me out.

Sometimes I drove past it as quickly as I could, in a hurry to get to one of my important activities.  Other times I drove slowly, craning my neck, trying to peer through the shattered windows.

Everything about the house was gray.  Dismal gray rocks splotched the front.  A cracked, gray sidewalk ran to the gray, crumbling curb.  Grayish yellow grass struggled to survive against the ungainly gray weeds that sprawled all over.  Through the dirty shards of gray glass I could see sodden, gray sheet rock bedecked with gaping holes and spidery graffiti.

Maybe at one time this house was brand new.

Taken care of.

 Maybe there was a happy family in residence, with happy, rowdy little kids.

I really don't know.

But at some point something must have happened.

What, I really don't know.

I have my suspicions, though.

There could have been a fire.  Maybe a tragic death.  It's possible the family fell behind on their mortgage payments.  Maybe in their anger and rage at being forced out they exacted revenge by smashing everything smashable.  It could have been a drug house.  Even now there might be squatters with a meth lab burbling in an abandoned back room.

I really didn't know.

One day there was a pick up truck in the driveway.  That caught my attention.  Maybe the bank was going to rehabilitate the lot.  I had often thought the best thing that could happen would be if lightening struck the house and burned it down.  That would certainly be the easiest solution.

A few weeks later, a large blue construction dumpster appeared outside the front door.

Huh.  I wondered what they were going to do with That Old House.

I really didn't know.

 But, I was curious to find out!

Over the next several months the dumpster was piled high again and again.

What all did it take to gut That Old House?  Did they have to rip out the carpet?  Sand down any wood?  Re-hang fresh drywall throughout?  Was anything salvageable?

I really don't know.

One day, new windows sparkled a greeting as I hurried past.  Then, there was a new door gracing the entry.  Fresh paint, the weeds were gone.  A fence enclosed the back yard.  And then one day . . .

A bike!  A pink child's bicycle leaned against the fence in one corner of the yard.

Now, when I drive past, there are cars in the driveway.  Lights pierce the darkness through windows with blinds drawn against prying eyes.  The bicycle appears in various places, dropped where ever the small rider happened to be when dinner was called.

I don't know anything about the new occupants.  I like to think there is a mother waiting to greet a father at the end of the day.  Pink paint in the "abandoned back bedroom".  Maybe a bassinet in the corner of the master bedroom, waiting to be filled with the newest member.

I really don't know.

I don't know who the renovator is or why he spent his own time and money on That Old House.  But Someone thought it was worth their while.

And now when I drive past That Old House, it makes me . . .

Smile!

"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new."  2 Corinthians 5:17