Several years ago I found myself under the hall bathroom sink. The plumber we used during the construction of the house had apparently cut a couple of corners and now the drain leaked more than it drained. Those of you who know me understand that forcing me under a bathroom sink is much more than a trick, those of you who REALLY know me understand that working on plumbing means I’m not very happy. Picture this, one very large goober, on his back, stuffed head first into a cabinet from the chest up, keester against the opposite wall, feet straight up on the wall; unhappy, uncomfortable AND working on plumbing.
Pieces cut, trimmed, dry fit and ready to assemble; I took a deep breath, grabbed the first elbow and engaged the enemy. Two grubby little hands plopped in the middle of my chest, bright blue eyes peering up my nose, the 3 ½” year old voice asked,
“’utchu dooin’ dad?”
“I’m fixing the sink drain, Bud”
“Not really broken, Bud, improperly installed.”
“ ? ’stalled?”
“K. Can I look?”
“Sure, Bud, climb up.”
That’s when the full weight of the nearly 4 year old pounced on one knee in my gut just above where my left kidney used to be; it sought refuge near my right armpit. Attempting to protect other organs I grabbed him, flipped him on his back and slide him on my chest under the sink, his fresh burr haircut prickling against my chin. Noticing his Nikes near my hips, I said,
“You can watch, but you can’t wiggle, no kicking.”
“essir.” (He’s got “No” down pat, but we’re still working on “Yes Sir”)
“PVC pipe glue.”
“Plumber’s putty, it makes a bad plumber mediocre”
I felt his head turn to look at me, one eye brow up, (a look he learned that from his Mom).
“It keeps stinky stuff out of the house.”
“Oh … … can I help?”
“ummm… sure, go to that tool box and get me a screw driver. Do you know what a screw driver is?
He slid off quickly, with more agility than I thought he would, no organs assaulted in the process, and headed for the large metal box. As he did I quickly slid pieces together, glueing as I went, one eye looking out for a lung puncture.
“Yes, Bud, that’s a screw driver, good job. But see the funny end on it, kinda like a star? That’s a Phillip’s screw driver; I need one that’s flat on the end.”
He spun and retreated, I went back to slathering plumber’s putty. If a little is good, a lot is better, right?
Lifting the paint scraper, “Dis it?”
“Close Bud, look for one skinnier, about that wide” holding my fingers apart.
Turning back to the plumbing, making the last turn on the union, a screw driver laid on my belly.
“Here, Dad, dis it?”
“Perfect, thanks Bud” pushing the union around one more quarter turn with the point of the screw driver, “couldn’t have done it without your help.”
Grinning with self satisfaction, he said, “I’m hungry”, a perpetual state for boys. He sprinted down the hall he hollering, “Mooooooom!” leaving me to bask for a minute in the feeling that comes from watching sons be sons.
Memories are odd things, even precious ones, they seem to pop up at odd times drawing our attention or punctuating a current event. The one above was called up during a recent discussion, someone wanted to do something for God, for His kingdom. I thought of the child just wanting to be with his father, to help somehow. I thought of the father, just enjoying the presence of his son, close, eager, willing. I thought about trying to extend that moment a bit longer. I thought about wanting more of those moments, regreting those lost forever to my temper or impatience or attitude. I thought of the relationship that went far beyond a leaky sink. I thought of my relationship with my heavenly Father. What could I ever do for Him, for His kingdom that He could not do so much better Himself? What could I help Him with that would really be more help than He could do alone? What could I offer that He needed?
I can offer Him nothing …
… that He needs.
I can only offer what He desires; my presence, eager, willing, the relationship.
“Can I help?”
“Sure, hand me a screw driver.”
Romans 12:1 I
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be
exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore
be imitators of God as dear children.
<salvaged from an ancient post>