God Led us to His Side – Part 1: Moving to Denver
First in a series
Another day, another pastoral scandal—at least, sometimes that’s what it seems like lately.
Amid such disheartening news comes the modern movement known as “deconstruction”—examining one’s basic faith assumptions in order to tear them down.
While I see it as a way of making excuses for leaving church, it’s so pronounced that Christianity Today featured a cover story on this trend last March. Our pastor had already mentioned it in several prior sermons.
While skeptics may be gathering most of the ink these days, I want to say that one of the best stories about faith is the one my wife and I have lived. A faith that continues because we were serious about our decision.
Our conversion account starts with a phenomenal series of events that happened 40 years ago. Both getting burned out on our jobs, we thought about moving to a new place. We also thought a change of scenery might be good for other, personal reasons.
We settled on Denver, one of the few areas that was then in the midst of an economic boom.
Then a newspaper editor, one March afternoon I stopped by a columnist’s home with some paperwork the receptionist had asked me to deliver on my way back to the office.
A Realtor by profession, the woman wrote what was known as community news about the area where she lived.
She invited me to have a cup of coffee. As we chatted, she mentioned that because of a soft market, it was taking an average four to six months for homes to sell.
I mentally ticked off the months left before we planned to move: one, two, three, four.
“Uh, oh,” I thought. “We’d better get busy.”
The next day I called her to say, “We’d like you to list our home.”
It sold in two weeks—so fast that we had to include a provision in our sales agreement. It stipulated we would make the new owner’s first two mortgage payments if we didn’t have to leave early.
Before our move, we scheduled a trip to Denver the last week of May to look at rentals and check out the job market.
We quickly discovered that unless you were a CEO knocking down six figures a year, no one would bother hiring you. There were plenty of people who lived in the area who could fill job slots.
House Hunting in Denver
One of the most pleasant parts of our late-May visit was the folks who invited us to spend our first night in town (Memorial Day) at their house.
They were friends of a friend who had let us bunk with him for three nights on a trip to California the previous year.
In addition, the couple invited us back for dinner after our apartment/house hunting session on Tuesday.
As we waited for dinner, I thumbed through “houses for rent” in The Denver Post. After that first day, we had agreed that Golden had a distinctive flavor. It didn’t look like all the other suburbs.
When I saw an ad for a home in Golden, I said with a chuckle, “Ha, ha. We can’t afford that. I think I’ll call the number.”
I did. It turns out the price the landlord advertised included money for a lease-to-buy option, but he would do a straight lease for less.
That’s the home we wound up renting, which provided providential for our next step toward God.