Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 27, 2015

The Yellow House

Everybody has a story. Our lives are, in fact, a collection of stories — the everyday chronicles of the happenings that shape and define us. The vast majority of our stories remain filed away and will never be heard by others. There are, however, those few stories that have so impacted our lives that they will always remain closer to the surface. These are the stories that regularly seep out through our tears or spill out through our laughter.

This past weekend I met a single mom named Susan at a Habitat for Humanity build. Susan is the lady who will live in the house that our volunteers and many others are helping to build. Like others selected to buy a Habitat home, Susan met some tough requirements and must put in 200 hours of sweat-equity into local Habitat projects, including the construction of her own home. Susan considers two-hundred hours of sweat-equity a small price for pay for the privilege of finally owning her own home.

Although the construction of Susan’s house is in the early stages, she looks forward to the February date when she will receive the keys. I told her that our team is scheduled to return to do the landscaping just before she moves in. She wants a palm tree in her front yard to remind her of growing up in California. When I asked Susan if she had selected the color for her home’s exterior she turned and pensively looked at her house and said yes.

“Yellow,” Susan said. “I want for my house to be painted yellow.” I replied that I thought yellow was a good color and then asked her why she had selected that particular color. That’s when I noticed her tears. “Because,” she said, “that was my daughter’s favorite color.” And then she went on to explain that her 23 year-old daughter had been killed in a car accident. My heart sank. I told her how sorry I was for her loss and then reaffirmed that yellow was indeed the right choice.

Knowing just a little of Susan’s story made my time at the Habitat build a lot more meaningful than when I had arrived earlier that morning. No longer was I just a part of a team taking part in a noble act of kindness to help someone in need. I was now a part of a team helping to build a house for a woman whose heart still aches for a daughter she desperately misses. Susan said that hers will be the only yellow house on the block. And she is comforted by that because it will not only remind her of what she has lost, but about the goodness of God in providing for her what she never thought she would have — a healing place.

I am grateful for the guys from Kingsland’s Cross Trainers Adult Bible Fellowship for their hard work at Susan’s house. These guys worked really hard along with our friends from the Fellowship at Cinco Ranch under the auspices of our partnership with Compassion Katy. I love to see the body of Christ serving and blessing the people of our community through practical expressions of God’s love. And I look forward to returning to Susan’s home to plant a palm tree in front of her yellow home.

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