Sometimes I look over my losses and gains and get all knotted up in trying to calculate my next step.
Jill and I have had multiple losses in our present home. I wrestle over whether we should call this a house of losses or a place of gains.
We lost limbs and a variety of organs. Each loss actually was a gain if you consider that the options of retaining those body parts was our removal from the planet. So we choose to send the parts on to Heaven for safe keeping. We’ll just have to catch up to them later while we hang out her with less of this and that but hopefully growing in more of Jesus.
Other areas of losses in life have been unusual. We find that our residence is not optimal for wheelchair mobility. Our yard isn’t great for wheels either since it’s on a slope. So I have tried my hand at laying concrete and slabs hear and there for better wheelchair traction.
I still have to pull the wheelchair out of situations where it gets stuck. We put lots of flowers around our boundaries so Jill can access their care from her chair.
There are some challenges that need adjustments. We have a large garden tub which is useless as neither Jill or I can get in it safely due to our body dysfunctions. If we did get in the tub getting out of it would take an a miraculous act of God. I know, I got in it one time. It was a bad decision.
Then the shower is incredibly small. Don’t get me wrong. It’s better then hosing down with a hose in the yard. The doors aren’t wide enough for a wheelchair and banging through them or getting stuck in the passage is unfortunate. I’m not trying to whine.
I’m just getting awoke to how losing body parts has its challenges.
So we pray for a radical remodel. It seems more fitting to do that then to just yearn and pine to catch up with our lost body parts. That’s a bit of a radical move. Now we have considered selling this house and getting a different house. But after taking a saw to various doors we have to remodel some to make this appealing to a buyer.
It’s always amazed me over the years that when you pray over things that sometimes things appear to get worse and tragic setbacks boggle your mind.
You may pray for better relationships and you end up with an astounding assortment of rejections and what appears unreconcilable repudiations, devastating expulsions and exclusions and the end of access with those who were dear to you.
I’ve had mysterious setbacks in the remodel proposition. Two leaks in plumbing that I never noticed and the end result is horrendous. Under our bathroom sink I never heard two pin leaks in a plastic gray connector pipe. How long it had leaked I don’t know. But I could hear this noise. It was kind of like gray noise from a fan on low speed. Silly me I didn’t research it until Jills wheelchair started falling through the bathroom floor. It’s hard enough for her to wash her hands and brush her teeth from a wheelchair without the floor giving way.
So I bought a new pipe connection and fortunately there was a shut off at the base of that connector pipe. I put a thin piece of wood over the ruts in the eroded flooring. I am neither a capable plumber or carpenter. I’m more of a patch kit guy who likes to spend the majority of his time reading and writing out my moans and laments. Writing helps me center my frustrations.
Anyway, we need to remove this garden tub and leprechaun shower and install a large shower. So my Root Goldberg fix bailouts our my best effort. And, I keep asking the Lord persistently about these unscheduled erosive setbacks when I’m praying for a rehab recovery remodel.
I tell Him, as kindly as I can, that He could sure be a lot more constructive and less destructive in our environment. As if this fallen world is his fault. But He is our Savior. So I pray. Then, low and behold, I notice that our only exit out of the house that Jill can use is feeling spongy. Now spongy is less then optimal for a wheelchair.
I had been wondering, puzzled. Why’s this door harder and harder to open and close.
It was as if the threshold under the door was actually growing. Actually it was.
Being as, as a handy man, I’m better at chasing problems then actually solving Them, I removed a portion of the threshold at the base of the door. That worked better for a few weeks. Then the door started sticking worse again.
I know I pray at times over what seem like ridiculous things. But there far from ridiculous to me. And the Lord does say in “all things” by prayer. Maybe it’s because I’m in my own soup of physical decline and maybe because I can’t figure out the best options quickly.
Anyways I looked at the top of the shutoff on the brass fitting on the washing machine that’s next to that door. I could see a very slow leak. I went to the Hardware store and they told me I could tighten this nut at the base of this facet and fix that oozing water.
I moved the washer, which is not easy in those tight quarters and presto a little wrenching and the leak was fixed.
But while close to the wall I could hear this gray noise again. Yikes.
I began to carefully chip away at the wall. The same kind of 36 inch gray connector hose was leaking with great destructive force inside that wall. I tried to move it a little to examine it and it exploded. I ran to the shut off at the back of the property and by now I was exhausted, soaked and in pain from being in these compromised positions.
I had already tried to crawl under the 3 foot crawl space and realized a the halfway point that a rescue team would have to drag me out by the ankles if I kept on that slithering path.
So my body was at this point very beat up. The iron cover that’s over the shut off was very heavy.
I had to run to find a crow bar to pry it up. Then the turn off valve was impacted with dirt. I had to run a get a small spade. Finally I got it closed off. All this time the water is like a tsunami in our entrance.
I’m not sure how long that eroding has been taking place but the floor gave way as I reentered the door. I got a new connection hose and repaired that leak. I went back and turned the water on and the bottom connector was still leaking.
By now my body is thrashed. I tried to tighten the fitting but it blew off.
Snoqualmie falls part two began. Back to the main shut off in frenzy.
What must it had been like for Abraham Lincoln to take over a country in divisive turmoils. Lincoln knew years of failures. But through it all all he put the nation back on the right track. But it was through enormous losses. Then he ended with someone blowing his brains out.
Lincoln suffered terribly from depression. He contemplated suicide numerous times.
He told his Mother the only thing that kept him going was the blessed hope.
Charles Spurgeon suffered from a variety of ailments and extreme depression. He attracted large crowds to his preaching and writing. At the age of 19 he had crowds of 1200 attending his messages. Spurgeon was a champion of prayer. His writings a
Sermons on prayer are inspiring.
There was a enormously large auditorium secured and he was seeing enormous Attendance.
On one Sunday night the hall was filled, with 10,000 people eager to hear him. They were even crowding outside.
A few hymns into the service, some fool started yelling fire.
There was no fire.
But emerging from the congregation the screams: ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!
The galleries are giving way! The place is falling! The place is falling!’
Suddenly the crowd was in a mad and in a violent panic. As one witness described:
The cries and shrieks were truly terrific, to which was added the already pent-up excitement of those who were unable to make their exit. They pressed on, treading furiously over the dead and dying, tearing frantically at each other. Hundreds had their clothes torn from their backs in their endeavors to escape; masses of men and women were driven down and trodden under in the chaotic stampede.
There had been no fire, and Spurgeon’s attempt to keep the peace couldn’t hold back the frenzy. It was a tragic tumult that saw seven killed and 28 seriously injured and taken to hospital. Wracked with guilt, Spurgeon was thrown into a deep depression.
As he wrote: ‘I refused to be comforted; tears were my meat by day, and dreams my terror by night. I felt as I had never felt before. “My thoughts were all a case of knives,” cutting my heart in pieces, until a kind of stupor of grief ministered a mournful medicine to me… “Broke in pieces all asunder,” my thoughts which had been to me a cup of delights, were like pieces of broken glass, the piercing and cutting miseries of my pilgrimage.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon who had rapidly catapulted by his special gift into preaching. He was called the ‘Prince of Preachers’, and gained a reputation for his prophetic energy, poetic voice and sometimes provocative irreverence –
But his vast following was now his greatest failure and overwhelming depression.
Why do we see failures? Why do things fall apart sometimes at catastrophic crescendo?
I went out this morning with good intentions of squirting water on the thirsty life growing In our front yard. I’ve been thinking all night about how to patch this new sink hole at our Exit. It is not coming to me as readily as I’d like. I’m puzzled why press board is used As the flooring foundation. The support beams are not even there correctly in this entry Exit area.
I’ve got to emergency fix it to be able to get Jill in and out of the house.
So here I am, mister space cadet. I quickly opening the door, to come back in and I forget there’s a gaping drop off hole that I plunge into. It was not pretty and my painful bellowing was scary even to me. It took me a while to get up. I’m not good when I gouge myself up in a fall.
I write this now to center my emotional state. Sorry for the comedic melodrama.
So if anyone has ideas on fixing our consummate sink hole entry. I’m all ears.
Failure I’m told is the backdoor to success.