Friday, July 11, 2008

Norah and Cousin Josiah on 'The Fourth' watching the fireworks in Knoxville...

They Will Know

Well, we are going to have to move into a new house, which means we have to sell this one, which could be a problem… See, we’ve got this sixty-five year old house with lots of emotional issues. It’s less than 950 square feet, it doesn’t have a breaker box and it’s less energy efficient than a wet cardboard box; so who’s going to buy the thing? On the other hand, it’s about the cutest little house ever on the quietest street full of the nicest neighbors in the best school district in the whole city; so, who wouldn’t buy it? When we bought it five and a half years ago, it was a dump. In fact, that’s overstating it. It was an absolute train wreck… in fact, if a train had derailed and wrecked into it, the property value would have gone up. We got the house for a song (thanks to some benevolent friends) and poured our hearts into it. We painted, sanded, mudded, hammered, measured, ripped out and built up. We moved in, hung our pictures, played our music, laughed, danced, cried, partied and raised two babies. We loved on this house and it loved us back, but now we have to move on and part of that includes passing it on.

So we got a realtor to come check it out and she said it looks great but then gave us a laundry list of things the house needed to really make it pop. Christy and I looked at this list thinking we could probably handle it over a period of a couple of months when the realtor said, “By the way, we need to get that stuff done in ten days.” WHAT!? Ten days?!

After my brain exploded, I picked up the pieces and then picked up the phone. I called Tom who sent out an email… one little email to some folks at church and guess what happened… an all out army of our sweet church folks showed up on Sunday afternoon and transformed this house. It was the body of Christ doing what they do best… coming together to serve someone out of love. You should have seen it! I had a list of jobs that needed to be done and every time I turned around, another person was in my grill with sweat on their brow and paint in their hair saying, “What’s next, Lee?” Joe was thirty feet up in the black walnut tree with a climbing harness and a chainsaw hacking off branches and brightening up the yard; and that was after ripping a humongous tree stump out of the yard with his bare hands! Mollie and Jeremy were among the three or four trucks taking load after load of brush and branches to the dump. My old high school guys like Robert and Paul were weed eating and scraping paint… Brad, Todd and Lucas painted my porch while Abbey and Meg spent the whole day doing touch-up and trim paint all up in the house.

In John 13 Jesus said, “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” All day on Sunday my neighbors drove by slowly, watching the smiling faces of the saints who served us so sweetly. I got to tell them later about how that was my friend George wielding that pressure washer, my family doctor Barry with all that mulch and my friend Bo with the third chainsaw… about how Patrick fixed our shed and Erica and Brenna painted our porch after Sam and Gee scraped it off… and about all the other work done by Matt, Taylor, Brittany, Thomas, Tina and Tom. It was an awesome day that I won’t soon forget.

One of the biggest jobs of the day was hanging trim in my foyer, and after Ben finished doing it, I told him how grateful I was for all he had done and he said, “It was nothing, man. You’ve been such a great brother to me.” That’s it... That's what my whole neighborhood got to see that day. That’s what the body of Christ, the family of God is supposed to look like: brothers and sisters giving and serving each other out of love for one another.

Well, here are a few more pics from the weekend of the Fourth:

Norah and Anna enjoying some ice cream cones on Patrick's boat:

Paba and Abby... (you can click here to go check out Paba's awesomely awesome blog.)

A very pumped Anna with me on the dock:

And here we are watching fireworks later that night... it was really loud and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra was wailing on the 1812 Overture as the fireworks boomed and sizzled.

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