I TOOK MOST OF THE DAY OFF yesterday. It was for a church thing.
Here’s the problem.
On April 27 our church had what we call a Mega Mission day. We rallied folks from our church to do spring chores for people in our city who needed help. We worked with the city official who handles housing problems, and we got her to give us a list of people who needed help with simple repairs, painting, landscaping.
Most of the folks were elderly or had chronic health problems.
We had about 100 people show up that Saturday. And we did a fair hunk of work that day on about a couple dozen homes.
We missed one important job.
And it was for one of our own. A couple in our Sunday morning Bible study group.
The gent has Multiple Sclerosis, early stages. The gal has recently developed heart problems that keep her from doing manual labor for more than 10 minutes at a stretch. The couple needed their deck stained.
Our Bible study group was going to be all over that mission project. We adopted it as our own.
But it rained.
So we put the deck on deck, waiting for the first dry Saturday.
For this particular stain, the manufacturer recommended 24-48 hours of dry weather before the staining and 48 hours of dry weather afterward.
The perfect Saturday never came.
All we got were perfect storms…perfectly timed to stain block us.
Weekend after wet weekend for a month and a half.
We even had a flood in that stretch, with cars floating down streets.
April passed. May should never have bothered.
Two wet weekends into June and we were fed up with waiting on the perfect Saturday.
On Sunday, we whipped out our smart phones, checked the weather report, and decided that a perfect Tuesday would do quite nicely.
That was a normal day off for the gent who lived in the house. We had some retired folks in class, some teachers on summer break, and myself – who, being self-employed, has a wonderfully understanding boss.
We set the date and time for the staining: 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 11.
I woke at 6 a.m. to the sound of thunder, which I hoped was a truck.
By 6:20, rain was falling and I was thinking bad words.
I sent a text message to the gent, who lives a few miles southwest of me.
“Oh man, I am getting rain! Are you?”
“Thunder and dark clouds.”
That’s all he got, thankfully. No rain.
We started painting at 10 a.m. Finished by 2 p.m.
Sunny and 90 degrees (32 C).
Somewhere around noon, when I was wondering about the symptoms of heat stroke, my wife arrived with pizza and an ice chest full of cold drinks.
I’ve attended many churches in my lifetime. But none as hands-on helpful as this one.
I love it.
Helping folks in practical ways feels as right as helping them spiritually. In fact, I’m not sure there’s much difference.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden….In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
—Jesus, (Matthew 5:14, 16, CEV)
“Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
—Paul, (Galatians 6:10 NLT)
PS. For the record, I don’t post blogs like this to brag about how wonderful I am. I know all too well that my wife and kids could offer a counterpoint. I post blogs like this to help encourage us all to look for opportunities to help folks in our general vicinity. If you’re already thinking of someone you know who needs an angel in a bone bag, it’s working.