Friday, March 11, 2005

Divorcing Our Burdens

I didn't write yesterday so I'm dashing this out quickly before I leave for work. The reason I didn't write was I got caught up in a home improvement project.

I know this violates rule number one at our house...that I don't do home improvement projects. Amy actually has a standing order from me to say, "Michael if you do that I will divorce you" when I try to do anything more mechanical than empty a trash can.

My excuse in this case was that the project was at the church and it wasn't my idea. My friend Roy had taken it upon himself to repair the water heater at the church. He seemed to know what he was talking about it. Roy is 70 years old with many a story to tell, but that's another story. Anyway he determined the heating elements in the water heater needed replacing. I had gone to the church to clean but felt obligated to help Roy since the water heater is crammed in a tiny very awkward space in the storage room upstairs and Roy has bad knees. He can really barely fit in there to work on it.

The problem with this thinking is that I once again forgot I am really of no help.

Yes, it turned into a fiasco. We couldn't get the water cut off properly and water started leaking through the ceiling. I quickly went downstairs to put water catching containers in place. We had to go out to the water meter to cut off the water supply which is a good hike since it's on the street and our church sits well away from the highway in a small thicket of oak trees.

The water cut off valve was filled by dirt and fire ants which meant I had to dig it out while under attack - this is why Amy has the standing order, I should have been hearing it loud and clear by this point. Apparently the dirt, fire ants, and my lack of technical prowess combined making the cut off valve virtually immovable, but after repeated attempts with every tool imaginable and a few magic words...okay not necessarily magic words, but words that a church deacon and elder rarely say out loud in front of each other, we finally got the water cut off. In the process I nearly broke my thumb.

That resulted in a few more "magic words."

Anyway, we did eventually manage to get the corroded heating elements out and Roy went off to buy replacements telling me he could do the rest and I could go home if I wanted.

I don't like anyone working at the church alone and still had a few things to do so I hung around until Roy's return.

Back we went into the tiny crawl space and Roy screwed in the first heating didn't fit. I tried. It didn't' fit. I tried cleaning out some of the lime build up and screwing it in. It didn't fit.

Roy tried again...and again...and again.

Then Roy sat down on the semi-dry floor and said, "You got a phone?"

I handed him my mobile phone and he called his wife and said, "I need my son."

She gave us his number and Roy called and they agreed to meet at the hardware store.

Apparently Roy's son is well versed in these types of issues.

At this point I decided Roy's son could assist his dad and I could go home.

I was exhausted and crawled into bed, sleeping for 5 or 6 hours.

I'm hopeful they got the thing fixed. Roy didn't call to say he had flooded the church.

This morning I thought about that scene: a church elder trying to do his best and then sitting down on the floor in a cramped uncomfortable area of the church - frustrated, fatigued, fed up and realizing he couldn't do it alone.

So he called upon his son whom he knew could help.

The metaphor is thinly veiled - in fact to me it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
Selah - Psalm 68:19