I have been on a mission with several projects lately, most notably getting ready for summer and tweaking things around the house. One of the things that I have been working on is to repair the door closing unit on one of the screen doors leading out into the back yard.
Admittedly, I feel a sense of accomplishment when these small things are completed and I have successfully figured out how to repair or replace something around our home. Earlier this week, it happened to be a shower head in our primary bathroom, but last week it was the back screen door.
The short version is that the screws and nuts holding the closing unit in place were bent and I took the whole assembly to the hardware store. Twenty minutes later I walked out with a solution that seemed to fit my need and could use the existing brackets in the door frame.
However, later in the week I found out that the nuts I had so carefully screwed in place were working themselves loose and I needed to find a very small lock washer to complete the project. Unfortunately, it is such a tiny part that it has been elusive to find. That is, until last week when I was in one of the large box stores and just happened to run across the part that I needed. Like a needle in a haystack… Hallelujah!
Anyway, I worked my way up to the front of the store and, to my dismay, there must have been thirty people in line ahead of me. I tried to pay for the small parts, thirty four cents worth, at the service desk… they wouldn’t serve me there so I got back in line with all the others who were checking out. I had picked the shortest line but it was still a fairly long wait.
Finally arriving up front, I set down my small purchase and held up my dollar bill. I was promptly informed that I was in a “card only” lane and I couldn’t pay cash at that register. Of course, there were no signs and I was somewhat annoyed. The store clerk told me to get in line at one of the other lanes that accepted cash. By this time, I wasn’t going to put my card down for $.34 – I just couldn’t bring myself to charge such a piddly amount.
So… I got out of line, and was wondering if I should get in another line or just take the washers back to where I found them. I was headed back into the store when a voice called out to me. I figured that the clerk had a change of heart and had decided to let me make my purchase for cash. WRONG…
It was the customer who had been behind me checking out! He had heard the entire conversation and wanted to purchase the washers so I wouldn’t have to go to the back of the line. I really didn’t know how to react. It was such a small purchase yet it was really important for me to finish my project at home.
I probably have some personal baggage here. Throughout my life, I am usually the one who picks up a tab, or helps somebody out, and it is difficult to just accept help from others. I couldn’t rest in it….
I held out my dollar and tried to pay him. He wouldn’t take my money – I either had to accept his offer to pay or head to the back of the line. I accepted… As small as it was, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated his kind gesture. Suddenly, everything was okay. I thanked him, took the purchase and headed home to finish the project. It all turned out fine.
That brings me to our verse for tonight. The author of Hebrews, whose identity is unknown, gives us a glimpse of how God feels when we assist one another. That’s good to remember. We are told, in Hebrews 13:16, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
My encouragement this evening is that God loves it when we reach out to help one another and many times we experience blessings when we do these sorts of things. My prayer is that we will all rejoice in doing small kindnesses for one another. You never know when someone may be having a bad day or just needs to see a demonstration of the love of Christ from a brother or sister in the faith. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…