Do you ever wish for things to be different where you live? In my 20s, living in Grass Valley, a mile up a dirt and gravel road, we had six ranches with a variety of folk. Some were friendly, some were questionable, some were downright horrible.
House one had a couple who were alcoholics, always fighting and screaming. You didn’t mess with them.
House two had a couple and their two children. Mom was nice, friendly and worked for the County Welfare Office. Dad however was not only an alcoholic but using drugs. Everybody was afraid of him.
House three had a nice couple who kept to themselves but lived in old fashioned fornication (voluntary sexual intimacy without being married).
House four was mine where I was raising 3 children, goats, chickens, pigs and two horses, two dogs and twelve cats. I taught 4-H classes and piano lessons.
In House five lived a nice man who was friendly and helpful. Major problem was that he too was an alcoholic.
House six was the worst. This man was just plain mean and evil. Everyone knew he was selling drugs. Cars and trucks raced up and down our road at all hours of the night.
As a young mother, concerned for the moral and physical safety of her children, I was troubled by some of the folk on my road. I found great wisdom in consistent reading of the Bible and would take my “troubles” to the Lord in prayer. One day Joshua 1:3 jumped out at me. “I am giving you every place you will step on with the sole of your foot.” I thought, “Well since the WORD of God is true, then why can’t I walk the land and claim it like Joshua?”
How was I going to attempt this and not be obvious? Every day I walked the children down the road to the bus stop, with a basket and scissors. Then I walked back to the very top of the road past those six house, clipping wildflowers and praying for every neighbor, asking for God to make changes in my neighborhood.
A miracle happened! Within three months my neighborhood changed completely. House one decided to go to AA and marriage counseling and were transformed. House two, the man was arrested and put in jail. House three suddenly decided they wanted to get married, went to a Pastor who insisted they do marriage counseling first, and they both became Christians and got married. I continued walking and it was great exercise, and I got a lot of Bible reading done. House five, the man went to AA and stopped drinking.
But House 6 was scary and sobering. I realized the seriousness of praying for a change when that man was murdered one night and his trailer burned down. WOW!
What changes can be made through faith in the Author of the Word, scissors and a basket of wildflowers! ■
— Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at email@example.com.