Daring God…Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010
4. Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths;
5. guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.
I began looking in the North Side of Richmond…specifically in the Battery Park, Barton Heights and Highland Park area. Ginter Park, the Fan, and other areas of the city that were deemed by many as ‘more acceptable’ for a single, white woman from the West End of Richmond, were just out of my price range. I just couldn’t see spending that much money on a house! My friends, both African-American/Black and white, were discouraging me from looking in that part of Northside…because of the crime…and because I am white and would be considered a ‘target’. So I stopped looking in that area.
God had something else in mind. That’s when my good friend Cindy Mims talked me into coming back to the area to look. You see, she and her husband Billy just purchased a home that was under renovation in Southern Barton Heights. She shared with me the story behind the area and the work that was taking place to revitalize it. After a tour one day, Cindy gave me a packet of information that explained the Neighborhood in Blooms program and offered floor plans of 3 different models of a new development that was being built around the corner from her house. An open house was scheduled in the upcoming weeks. So…I agreed to go.
I pondered those floor plans….and prayed to God for guidance, again. Is this where He wanted me to live? A lot of street crime – mainly prostitution and drug dealing were taking place on the corners. There was virtually no diversity at all…everyone seemed to be African-American/Black. Much different from the life I had lived up to now. After hours reviewing the floor plans and praying, I (and God with me!) pictured THE house…down to the color, corner lot, floor plan, exterior, etc. but in the existing neighborhood. I said…if THIS house is on the market, I will take it. Considering it almost a dare to God….just knowing that there wouldn’t be a house to match it. These houses were in a new neighborhood!
What little did I know! Cindy and I went on the tour. The ‘model home’ was the floor plan I was most interested in. Falling in love with it from the minute I walked in…I began to almost whine internally. Why did this house need to be in this neighborhood? Cindy and I went on the walking tour, ending back at the model home. While speaking with the real estate agent, I expressed my interest… ‘If only this house was in the existing neighborhood…’ I dared the Lord, as I was secretly relieved. I was walking away when Graham (the real estate agent) stated….’take a look at 2101 Barton Ave”….