“Demo the porch,” said Richie. “It will solve a bunch of your problems.”

I looked at him blankly.

“Extend the porch out to here,” he said, pointing to the area about six feet out from the door of the house that I was hoping to turn into a counseling center, “and slope the rest of the porch down to the your walkway. That slope will end up about here,” he said, walking out on to the dirt and pointing down at his foot.

“Wow, that low,” I said. “That’s perfect! Then the walks on both sides of the courtyard will be about the same height.”

He had solved it! Richie, in only a couple hours on the site, had figured out solutions to the grading and leveling problems of the courtyard we are building at the church.

Orchestrated. That’s how I see it.

When we set out to do this project, a seventy by seventy foot interior courtyard garden for the church, it seemed impossible. We had no plan, no money and no professional support. A small old, dilapidated house sat in the middle of the site, surrounded by concrete and asphalt.

But, it had already been orchestrated. We just didn’t know how.

There was Vickie, the realtor, who introduced me to Joaquin, who had a business partner named Jesus, who bought the house. Joaquin put it on a truck and drove it down a two foot embankment, over the sidewalk and down the street.

We waved goodbye, and hooted. The house flew. And Jesus gave us some money for it.


Then there was Janet, the landscape designer, who volunteered to draw the design, and her boss who volunteered hours to solve design problems — free.

Then there was Josh, who revised the plan, created the fire exit plan the city demanded, added the detail for the wall, free, and printed out all the large scale drawings, three times, free.


Then there was Richie who came to me through a friend, Eric Richards, by referral. “I know a guy,” said Eric, who does this kind of stuff. He grades stuff and he’s got all the equipment to do it.”

Come to find out, Richie just graded the brand new Del Mar Race Track, and now he was at the church, volunteering all his experience and expertise, to us — at very little cost.


Then there was John. My daughter saw him at the college, putting up a wall, and came home and told me. And a light went on. Ask John, to build the wall to enclose the courtyard.


I walked past the dirt lot on Sunday. It’s growing weeds. It will soon be a beautiful inclosed garden, an outdoor room, a venue, a park, a worship center. How will that happen?

I’m not sure?

But I know this: It will be orchestrated.

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