At the adventure of a new career calling, Laurie’s daughter Stephanie and her husband Mike moved here with their four children from Little Rock, AR last summer. While they look for a house in our area they moved in with us in our renovated upstairs bringing us from a family of 2 to a family of 8 overnight! (I think we are all a little surprised at how well it is going and how we’ll miss each other when they are gone.) Anyway, one evening last October we accompanied them to look at one of many houses for sale they have viewed with a realtor. We pulled up to this warm brick house with over an acre yard in an older Spring Hill neighborhood that’s a great location. We were excited at what we were seeing and that it was in their price range. Upon opening the front door the smell was the first thing to hit you. Old stained carpet still held the odors of pets that had not been house broken. The house was cut up with very small rooms, oddly high kitchen counter tops, surrounded by cracked and peeling casement windows. It was terrible. I could not get back outside fast enough to breathe fresh air and took the kids as an excuse. Mike emerged next in about 15 minutes where we stood speechless for a moment. I asked the pregnant question, “So, what do you think?” He looked at the ground shaking his head and said, “I saw the look in Stephanie’s eyes. She can see so much potential and all I can see is work.” I chuckled, he gasped one last breath, and then stepped back inside. When they emerged a half hour later Stephanie’s hope had ignited Laurie’s vision and they were excited, discussing possibilities and repeating the phrase, “good bones.” The house was theirs.
As the work began we ripped up the carpet to discover rare heart of pine floors. Walls were torn down to recreate a large kitchen and a spacious master bedroom with fireplace. Exposed beams are presently being covered with redwood. The house is turning out to be beautiful and incredibly well built! Stephanie and Laurie saw the unseen when the rest of us were ready to move on…quickly. Restoration and beauty are unfolding all because one person saw potential and what was underneath. Stephanie looked past the problems and loved what was there. I am grateful that a few people did that with me. When my life was a wreck and I seemed hopeless there were some who saw past the problems and loved what they saw underneath. Those people gave me hope that God looked at me that way.
Today when you and I see someone who might not seem to matter, who won’t be of benefit to us or get us better connected, look beneath the smelly carpet and through their broken windows to see the person whose heart likely needs to hope that he or she matters. It may be the vision that changes not only their life but ours as well.
Clinical Director, Onsite