“No good deed goes unpunished,” I’ve heard people say jokingly. This week, I’ve decided they are right.
Flying to Natal, Brazil, to lead FriendsCamp was WAY out of our comfort zone. Flying four days and worklng there nine full days was difficult; camp itself was exhausting. But so rewarding! We relished being with people we love; we cherished time to share Jesus with those who didn’t know him. But when we got home Tuesday afternoon, our troubles began.
- Two of our suitcases didn’t make it from Miami. We had seen them there, so we weren’t too worried. They were delivered Wednesday morning.
- Our automatic garage door opener didn’t work. The door had mysteriously opened while we were gone and our neighbor had manually closed it. Now we must have a new one installed. $$$
- Our house was infested with insects of all kinds—mainly gnats, ants, and flies—though we hadn’t left any fruit out. Fortunately, Fred, our exterminator, was here Wednesday and got rid of quite a few. Still not totally gone. He’s coming back tomorrow. $$
- The scorching temperatures while we were gone destroyed my beautiful deck flower boxes. All had to be replaced. I just finished re-planting. $
- After a thunderstorm early Thursday morning in which our town received 4.5 inches of rain in one hour, our basement flooded. I called the restoration team that worked on our flooded basement last summer and they came quickly. They put 16 fans and other electrical equipment in our basement to dry everything out. Today they came and removed most of the equipment but left some for places that are still damp. Not covered by insurance. $$$$$
- We actually saw the water coming in through the outside basement door, so I called RotoRooter. After much deliberation and electronic devices, the gentlemen determined that both our sewer line and our storm water line are clogged with roots, gravel, and broken clay pieces, so we must replace those. Today, a huge machine is digging a hole approximately four feet wide and six feet deep across our yard to put new drain pipe in. We also need to reconfigure the yard to direct heavy rainwater away from the basement door. Insurance doesn’t cover it. $$$$$$
- Not only could I not host my weekly Bible study, I couldn’t go to the new location and lead the lesson because the guys were coming to put up the fans. Today I couldn’t go to my exercise class because the Roto-Rooter guys were coming.
- On July 28, I picked up our landline phone to use it and got only static. The Cincinnati Bell guy says they can’t send anyone out until August 4. “August 4?” I screamed. “Are you kidding me?” I’m sure he thought I was over-reacting. Little did he know.
- I went for my eye checkup and my doctor gave me a pitch to vote for Trump. We got into a shouting match (almost) and I was disgusted. When I said Trump is a bigot and he denied it, I wanted to say, “It’s only bigots that deny that another bigot is one.” I didn’t. My eyes were still in his hands.
- I put in a new contact lens, got a block away, and returned because I was having such pain from it. I took it out to flip it over and immediately lost it, never to be retrieved. Had to get my old one out and put it in.
- Friday morning I awoke with what I assumed was a bladder infection. I chugged an entire gallon of cranberry juice but it only helped slightly. So on Saturday after I got out of our meeting at 2, I went to an Urgent Care place and got a prescription for an antibiotic. Helped greatly by the next day.
- That same Friday morning we hosted breakfast for Steve’s MasterMind group. They are dear friends after being in this group for so many years, but we still had to get food ready when we were a bit stretched. Steve and I did it together.
- I looked at my calendar and realized I’d triple-booked for Saturday. My hair will have to wait till next Wednesday. I was already going to an 8 a.m. breakfast with friends and would arrive late to my 9 a.m.-2 p.m. meeting; I couldn’t leave early, too.
At that point, I thought, So, God, you’ve already saved me. Now I need you to rescue me, too.
All these were minor in the whole scheme of life. Things. Possessions. Irritations. All our family is safely back in the United States after six weeks in Natal, Brazil. Everyone is in good health—even me, now. We pray for a stop to the violence that erupted in Natal after we left. We pray for the friends there, old and new, that they will have peace and that those not Christians will accept Jesus as their Savior. We are grateful for where we live and what we have and that we can share our bounty with those in need.
Thank you, God, for giving us perspective.