I like to brew beer. Is something that I've enjoyed for seven or eight years. I woke up this morning ready to bottle a pale ale that I will enjoy drinking, but even more… I will enjoy giving away.
When we went downstairs to get the supplies to bottle, there was a massive plumbing leak that was destroying the ceiling in our finished basement. Shelly screamed, We immediately turned off the water, drilled a few holes in the ceiling, and started pulling out Rubbermaid tubs to contain the leaks. Complicating the issue… we were getting ready to paint the basement because our friends John and Hannah are getting ready to move in for six weeks or so while they get a place to live more permanently. They are getting married in a week and a half.
Another friend, Mark, came over with blowers and dehumidifiers… cut a few holes, and pulled the carpet back so that it could dry.
In the midst of this, I'm struck by a couple of things.
One, it is all just stuff. I am so impressed with Shelly's attitude towards the chaos in our house. It will all get fixed. Some of our furniture or pictures might be ruined, but neither Shelly nor I are freaking out. God is giving us some grace to have this attitude.
Two, my buddy Mark is more of a minister than many pastors I know. Not only did he drop everything he was doing and rush over here to save us, he brought one of his employees with him to help. I briefly got to talk to this guy, and I found out that he has had some serious run-ins with the law… in and out of jail. Mark takes guys like this and gives them a chance. Gives them responsibility. Gives them work. Wow! Mark is a stud.
But overshadowing all this this morning is the fact that our close family friends the Schultzs are struggling with the reality and the deep tragedy of losing their boy Rusty to cancer in the very near future. They have walked a difficult yet open and transparent path with his cancer in the past few years. Redemption seems like the wrong word to use in the face of such an ugly and shocking tragedy. But through their faith and faithfulness, they have brought the reality of God's grace to the lives of so many.
I am so glad that we serve a God that not only has a plan, but he lets beautiful people like this Schultz family bring beauty to this earth even in the face of the ugliest things that our planet has to offer. It may or may not be a comfort to them right now. Telling anyone who is in the midst of wrecking grief that there is a "bigger reason for everything going on" or that "there's a plan for everything" isn't comforting usually. But just their willingness to walk this path in such an open way gives the rest of us a window into the immense beauty of our creator and His redemption. We love you Schultzs.
I may have to postpone my silly little beer project, and our basement ceiling made cave-in with water. But this day God is redeeming a life wrecked by run ins with the law, and he is giving grace to a family facing the imminent loss of their son.
What really matters today?