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Friday, August 16, 2013

I'm hanging in the balance of a perfect finished plan...

I'm not sure what possessed me to buy the condo on Moreland St.  After owning an old house on Valley St in Northwest Grand Rapids, I realized I am not handy in the least bit & was happy to have a brand new place that required no fixing whatsoever.  Like most people who bought any kind of property between 2002 and 2006, I thought it would be a good investment.  Six years later, we had to write a check for more than I care to admit to just to sell it.  I'll never regret buying that place, though. 

I met my beautiful wife, Christie while I lived there.  After we had been married for a year or so, we got a knock on the door,  it was our neighbors from a couple of doors down.  They just dropped in to chat, not being the most social people on the planet, we were kind of caught off guard.  They seemed like good people & we really enjoyed their company, & the husband had really good taste in music.  Maybe they enjoyed our company, too, or they were simply being nice but they invited us over for dinner & we've been friends ever since.  They are truly a couple of the most beautiful, selfless people you will ever meet. 

Around the same time we were looking for a new church.  They invited us to visit theirs, not in that creepy way that makes you feel like you are being sold a vacuum cleaner.  We loved it & felt very welcome, but, being of a slightly different denominational persuasion, I was hesitant to become members of their church.  At the same time, we were struggling to get pregnant & there were a lot of messages at church about adoption, & we struggled with the idea that we might not ever be able to have children.  Around the time we decided to finally become members at Hope, we found out that Christie was pregnant. 

I couldn't see it at the time, but I've come to know that God had a hand in all of this.  I've never been more certain of anything in my life that if we had not met our neighbors & not went to church at Hope we wouldn't have Lillian.  I found out later that our friends we met at the condo prayed for us long before we ever became friends.  God worked through their prayers & through their friendship & our lives have been forever changed.  Lillian is truly a gift from God.  Being her father makes me a better man. 

I don't like to owe anybody anything, be it money or favors.  It's incredibly humbling for me to know that I will never be able to repay my friends for what they've done for me & my family.  They truly followed Christ's example.  Christ's death on the cross & resurrection didn't fit our human model of transactional exchanges.  We exchange gifts, we pay for services rendered.  God gave us a gift we can't pay for, no matter how hard we try.  I always wonder if humans are ever possible of a selfless act in this model, but I now know it's possible. 

We live in a house right down the street from the church & we walk there when the weather's nice.  It's easy now to piece together all the seemingly unimportant decisions & moments in life that lead to the moment I find myself in, & I realized that they are not without purpose.  I don't miss living at our old condo.  We drive by it every three months or so, often when we are going out to dinner with our friends we met there.  When we moved out, we left a note for the people who bought it, inviting them to Hope & we prayed for them & will continue to do so.  

Happy Friday, friends. 

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Every Grain of Sand-Bob Dylan

Happiness-Jonsi & Alex

You Are Not Alone-Mavis Staples

Walk Like a Giant-Neil Young

Vito's Ordination Song-Sufjan Stevens

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...