The pipes started leaking last Monday. I thought my youngest son had peed on the floor, since that's what he told his 7 year old brother...and because that's not quite out of his system yet. He got down on his knees and smelled the floor to prove it was not pee. He made me get down and smell it too. To my surprise (and delight) I found it was not pee! But as I straightened up I saw water streaming down the basement wall and a bulge like a water balloon in the ceiling. It turns out whoever put in the pipes used outdoor sprinkler pipe. Not even as strong as PVC. The plumber the bank hired to fix a leak prior to our purchase of the home neglected to point this out to us.
Last Wednesday the little car got sick. It started running a fever which we thought we could remedy with a dose or two of coolant. It got me home, but Saturday the "fever" came back and so there it sits next to the driveway...this illness seems to be fatal.
There are times in life when it seems one bad thing happens after another. The handle for the sliding door to our van falls off. The cold water doesn't work on the Northern part of our house because of the plumbing difficulties. The dogs have gotten just tall enough to grab things out of the trash and leave shredded paper towels and bits of packaging from our defrosted chicken legs all over the kitchen and living room which of course causes a bit of a tummy upset for the poor dears who graciously leave a "deposit" near the bathroom for us to clean up at our earliest convenience. The van's check engine light laughs at me each time I get in and try to start her (no really, I'm sure I've at least heard snickering!).
My oldest son asked me today why all of these things were happening. Why were the cars breaking and why didn't anyone warn us about the issues with the house and why can't Grandma be out here yet and why do these things have to happen now and interfere with some of the things we hoped to be able to afford to do during the summer?! In addition to his "why's" I have my own about why certain people in my family keep doing those THINGS that drive me nuts. Why can't little boys be CONstructive? Why do teens have to be so hormonal? Why do there have to be SO many appointments to drive everyone to in order for them to have the chance to be productive members of society. It seems logical at this point to find a nice quiet dark closet, curl up into the fetal position and start sucking my thumb while humming a lullaby over and over again.
But there are SO many blessings to be found in all the chaos. Things could be much much worse. I had my 9 year old son watch a video about Nick Vujicic (type his name in on youtube! He's amazing). This man was born with no arms and no legs. He's basically just a trunk with a head. He can't wipe his own nose and he'll never be able to hug someone he loves or hold his own child if he ever marries. Yet, this many has amazing joy! If he can have joy in his present situation certainly we can be joyful in ours.
We watched a movie this evening about Fr. Damien a Catholic priest who was missionary to an island of leapers in Hawaii. He went and served faithfully without support from government or Church who had written all of these poor people off. He struggled to serve these people with so little and evenutally contracted leaprosy himself and STILL served. If he can, by the grace and strength given him by Christ, minister to the sick and the poor surely God can also give us the grace to endure the "hardships" we face.
"Why do all of these things have to happen?" was the original question. "Why not" is my response. Why does any good thing happen? Why do the flowers bloom each spring? Why do we have warm beds to sleep in and food to eat each day? Why are we healthy and able to work and play? Why is there laughter? By the grace of God we are being sustained every moment. Each positive thing that happens is a small miracle and blessing from our Lord in this dark world. These good things are possible because He first loved us...because the Bible tells us so:)...because on the sixth day God created us and said we were good...because He trampled down death by death and bestowed life upon those of us in bondage.
So the pipes, they'll get fixed. The cars...either the Lord will provide alternative transportation, fix it Himself (carpentry can't be THAT different from car mechanic:) or we'll be spending a lot more quality time together. The boys will continue to be boys and we'll have lots of memories to laugh about...later:) In the years ahead we won't remember the pipes or cars or appointments but we will have, hopefully, the fruit of perseverance and love for one another. We'll have funny stories. We'll have each other and the memory that the Lord of all creation helped us not only make it through, but allowed us to learn to be compassionate towards those in much more challenging situations.
James 1:3-4 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.