I SPENT 8 HOURS WITH A SHOVEL on Monday.
I don’t recommend it.
Monday night I fell asleep in front of my DVR recording of the History Channel show, “Texas Rising.” Which is kind of funny, since I did not rise until midnight.
When I did I was so stupefied that I didn’t shut the back door. That meant Buddy the Dog – all night long – had access to our fenced in backyard through the doggy door. I have no idea if his piercing bark awoke the neighbors in the middle of the night. Didn’t wake me.
I have an area in my backyard that I call The Swamp. The yard was never graded right. So we have a big dip on the south side of the yard.
We have two downspouts that help feed the swamp. So my good buddy Terry suggested we put in some underground drainage tubes to direct the downspout water to the street, where it could flow into the city’s drainage system.
That meant digging a ditch about 60 feet (18 m) long and one foot (30 cm) deep.
Terry is a school teacher, off for the summer. So he offered to come out on Monday and help me get the job done.
I started digging at about 8 a.m.
I’m a little better with a shovel than Terry is. But he has a better head on his shoulders for putting puzzles together. So I did most of the digging. He did most of the thinking.
Once in a while he would ask what I thought about putting this into that or configuring the linking of a downspout with a T connection or a Y connection.
“I can’t dig and think,” I said.
We had that conversation several times.
We had two gully-washers during the day. Each downpour dropped about an inch of rainwater, filling our trench. But we had the trench sloped properly, so the water drained.
We worked in mud from about 1 o’clock until we finished about 5 o’clock. That meant that every step I took, I carried about 10 pounds of mud on the bottom of each boot. It also meant the tools wouldn’t work anymore. Mud stuck to my shovels like blobs of glue.
Terry began working barefooted.
I moved mud with my gloved hands.
I’m sure my son and son-in-law would have helped me do this if I had asked them and scheduled it on a day off. But they each have day jobs. Terry was available and ready on Monday.
I don’t have many friends who would take off their boots and work in the mud to help me like this. I could count them on one hand.
I think that if we have even one “friend in deed,” we are more fortunate than many folks.
What the Bible says about friendship
Here are three of my favorite Bible verses about friendship.
- Friends love through all kinds of weather (Proverbs 17:17).
- A true friend sticks by you like family (Proverbs 18:24).
- Jonathan thought as much of David as he did of himself (1 Samuel 20:17).
Friendship was one of God’s better ideas.
For more on friendship, check out
- Complete Guide to the Bible, Student Edition, page 56
- Friends: The ups and downs of having them
- Heroes we can count on
Bible Gateway Blogger