Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Windshield of life

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I haven't talked with you for a while and I apologize.

We finally closed on our house, a process that seemed to go on for much too long. We had hoped that the closing process would have gone much more quickly, but looking back, I for one, am glad that the process took the time it did. During this process we became friends with the sellers and a relationship was built. The sellers are a group of four girls. They had inherited the house after their father had passed away; they had hoped for a quick sale, this process was hard for them as well.

Laurie and I, when we decided to relocate to Vancouver, had come to the decision after much prayer and reflection that we wanted a home that would also serve as a place where people could come and find "space to breath." We must have looked at over 70 homes before we found such a place. After months of looking we found an old home that had not been lived in for a time; it had great bones but needed work. We put an offer in on the house and it was accepted.

This is were the real journey begins.

At first, the realtors were doing all the communicating, but as time went on the sellers and the buyers (Laurie and I) started communicating; first over email and then over the phone.

A friendship started to emerge.

We started to reassure each other that, while the process is taking longer than any of us want it to take, we knew this was the right thing for everyone and that God was in the middle of it. There where times when Laurie and I would ask the question, "Are we sitting in the middle of God's will or have we stepped outside of His will for want of the house?" Each time we would receive the answer, "No, you are doing what I have asked, be patient." When I would talk with Caryn (one of the sisters who was in charge of selling the house) she would echo the same.

After we closed on the house, the girls asked if they could come out and spend some time with us, and see the house that they once called home. Laurie and I were excited to see them and put faces to the voices on the phone. We set a date and waited for the Rader girls.

It was a Sunday afternoon when Caryn, Cathy, Camille, and Christine came to the house. We started by walking through the entire house and the girls reminiscing about growing up in what is now Laurie and my home. After the tour, we sat and started to talk.

The girls told us how two years before Laurie and I ever thought about moving they had come together and prayed for just the right people to buy their home. They did not want "just anybody" to buy their home, but they prayed that God would bring someone that would steward the house and use it for a greater purpose. When Laurie and I told them that we have already had people out to sit by the river, and take time to breath. That this has already been a place where people can find a thin place to Christ and God; they knew that they had been faithful to what God had called them to be.

They recounted the good times, they recounted the sad times. Laurie and I sat and listened while they talked about their lives and the struggles they had faced.

We broke bread together, we laughed together, we shared words of encouragement.

They asked if we had a place for their grandmother's piano, they wanted it to come home. We showed them where we would place it and asked if they approved; they said that the place we had chosen would be perfect.

We talked about having a bench in the back yard, by the river, with a plaque that would read something like, "Gordon loved it here."

We talked about how this is not just Laurie and my home, but that the Rader home will always be here, we are merely stewards.

When they went to leave, a short five and one half hours later, we hugged each other. Caryn and I made plans for me to meet her son Matthew who after a long struggle is nearing the end of his time here on earth. Caryn asked if I would preside over his celebration of life when he passes, I said I would be honored.

I can never see God's plan as I look through the windshield of life. It is only when I glance in the rearview mirror that I get to see what He is up to. Unfortunately, if I look to long in the rearview mirror I run the risk of crashing the car of life. I am forced to look through the windshield and thus live in the mystery.

I for one, thank God for bringing the Rader girls into our lives.

God is good.


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