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A Shower, a Light Switch, and My Place in the Body of Christ

Jan 14 2019

There is nothing I find more overwhelming than attempting to do home repairs. It is not hyperbole to say that I feel nothing short of utter despair when a power drill is in my hand. I'm just not good at handiwork, and inevitably I make things worse. So it was no surprise over Christmas vacation, when Sue and I dedicated a day to putting up new trim in our bathrooms, within minutes I had added to this one simple job a much more complicated task. I had measured the length of the wall adjacent to the bathtub, a task for which I had to stand inside the tub. Then, stepping out, my foot bumped the faucet, and it completely broke off! Furthermore, Right around that same time, we realized that our dining room chandelier needed a new switch. Not surprisingly, a familiar wave of despair swept over me.

We attempted to fix the plumbing problem I had created, only to make things worse instead of better. I thought we knew enough to avoid the electrical repair, but later that day I caught Sue watching YouTube videos on how to replace a switch. Yikes! The one job we were able to accomplish was getting the trim up; but even that took an extra day.

We finally made one wise decision when we contacted the Porters. Helen and Brian are neighbors (they actually live seven miles away in another town, but this is western Maine. They're still neighbors.) They also own 13 rental properties, so they're experts at all sorts of home repairs; sort of a husband and wife George Utley. They agreed to come over and help us out last weekend. While Helen showed Sue how to change a light switch, I assumed my all too common position of watching a buddy fix my stuff while I pretend to understand what he's doing. Within less than two hours, both repairs were done, and the cost was a twelve pack of gourmet beer plus the cost of parts.

When the Porters packed up their tools and headed the seven mile drive across our neighborhood, I felt not despair, but a mixture of appreciation and embarrassment. Appreciation for selfless neighbors willing to help us. Embarrassment because men are supposed to be able to fix things, and I can't. But then I was reminded by that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. "We are all different parts of the body of Christ. Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear?"

For whatever reason, God has blessed me with the ability to teach, often with the unique skills of juggling and magic. Meanwhile, God continues to provide other members of the church whose gifts meet our needs when we need them. What I do often seems frivolous to me, but in Gods big picture, I guess He knows what He's doing. I'll keep juggling whenever I have an opportunity, and I trust that that is enough.

No need for despair.

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