My Turn: A brave beginning to a new friendship

  • Christa Threlfall’s children get acquainted with the pond at the home of the family’s new friends in Concord. Courtesy

For the Monitor
Published: 9/15/2019 7:30:09 AM

“Uh, I don’t know; it seems kind of rude.”

This was my husband’s response when I suggested I walk up to a beautiful Concord home to see if the owners wanted to sell. (I should clarify that the home was not on the market.)

“It’s not rude. I think it’s a compliment,” I protested, although I thought my husband had a good point and maybe it was a foolish idea. But, I figured the owners didn’t even know my name. If they got mad, I could just run off without saying another word.

We drove over to the house, where my husband stayed in the van with three of our kids while my oldest child and I approached the lovely home with who-knows-who inside.

I rang the doorbell and waited until a lady answered.

“Hi, this is incredibly random, but you have such a beautifully located home and I know this is crazy, but if you would ever want to sell …” My voice trailed off as her husband came to the door.

“1 million, starting price,” he said.

“Sold!” I shot back. (Clearly, this was a joke on my end.)

“Hey, well if you think the outside is gorgeous, wait until you see the inside!” he said, as he beckoned my daughter and I to step in. I debated for half a second. Step inside a stranger’s home? With my daughter? But I had my phone on me and my husband outside (albeit at the end of the driveway since he still wasn’t so sure this was the greatest plan), so we went in. I figured this couple was taking a risk on us, too. After all, what sort of person just knocks on your door and asks if you want to sell your home? #weird

We stepped in, introduced ourselves to the couple (Mark and Tracy), and told them how we moved to Concord recently. Afterward, Mark gave us a grand tour of their home, including the balcony overlooking their pond and driveway. When he saw my van, he said, “What? You didn’t even park in the driveway?” As soon as I told him my husband and three other kids were in there, he responded, “Oh, I’ve gotta meet him.”

A minute later, we all traipsed outside where my husband and the rest of my kids got to meet Mark and Tracy, this couple who had just totally welcomed two complete strangers into their home. I’ve gotta say – I don’t think I would do that. (And when I say “I don’t think I would” I actually mean, “never in a million years would I do that.”)

But they did. More than that, they invited my kids to come fish in their pond. And as if that isn’t insanely kind enough, the next day Mark stopped by my husband’s office with four brand-new fishing poles (each labeled with my kids’ names) with another invitation to come fishing in the pond whenever we wanted.

That one little random, kinda weird and somewhat risky idea turned into a new friendship. My husband and Mark even went out for coffee after that and talked about getting involved in Concord’s city council. And, yes, I took my kids fishing in their pond with the brand-new fishing poles, which they were absolutely thrilled to use.

I’m not saying you should start knocking on people’s doors and asking them to sell their home to you. But I am saying that every relationship starts with a risk. A risk to smile and speak a kind word, even though it might not be returned. A risk to show love to someone who doesn’t look, smell, vote or believe like you do. Every relationship requires a risk. But in my experience, it’s a risk worth taking.

(Christa Threlfall is an author, pastor’s wife and mom of four. She writes regularly at BrownSugarToast.com.)




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