It was three years ago on Thanksgiving morning. I was scheduled to do meals on wheels with Pastor Don and a few others. The Meals on Wheels program (a nonprofit org) doesn’t operate on holidays. So the elderly shut-ins don’t get fed. Churches will volunteer to take the routes on those days and deliver the meals. Our church takes the hard areas of North St. Louis because that’s where we are.
I got up that morning and did my usual routine. After taking a shower I began dressing when I heard this strange gurgling sound and then, oddly enough, the toilet drained all of it’s water… I tried flushing it… Nothing. The water in the bath tub had also stopped draining. I tried several household remedies to no avail. Finally I called Roto Rooter. They sent someone out and I had to pay holiday rates.
They snaked my sewer line and began pulling out mud and tree roots. There were three very large trees on the side of my house and one of them had compromised my sewer line. They cleared it so that the water would drain but told me that it would need to be dug up and replaced. But before that, the trees would have to be removed. They estimated the sewer line replacement to be about $12k and they obviously don’t do tree removal… so God only knew what that would cost.
Needless to say I was completely bummed out and angry. I didn’t have that money. I thought and searched for solutions to this problem. I racked my brain for a way out. I decided I wasn’t going to do Meals on Wheels.
Don calls me and I told him what was up and that I was in too bad a mood to go anywhere. He said ok and hung up the phone. A few minutes later he called back and said “you should really go this morning. You need to server somebody today”.
My first instinct was to tell him to where he could go with that line of thinking. But I calmed down and decided to go. I climbed in the van and he said, it’s gonna be alright bro. I took his obligatory words of encouragement with a grain of salt.
We got to our first stop. I got out of the van and approached the house with another volunteer. A 93 year old lady opened the door. She had no family, no friends and she was too feeble to leave her house. I pushed through my own problems and asked her what I could pray for her about. She said “Oh honey, just pray that the good Lord would give me another day to be alive!”
I looked at her like she had lost her mind. This woman has nothing and she wants to live in it another day!? But God opened my eyes to a grateful soul that day. I was faced with my own ungratefulness… my own unbelief… my own selfishness. So I prayed with her and I wept… a little… more than a little…
The rest of the morning passed with all of us taking turns to bring food and a few moments of companionship to shut-ins. It was rewarding.
That evening Don called me and told me he had a lead on getting my trees cut down. So he gave me a phone number of a friend of his who owned a tree business. The man’s name is Kyle. Kyle is a Believer and a good man. Before I called Kyle, Don texted me and told me to offer him a few hundred dollars more than he asks for. Don had already negotiated the price with Kyle and he had agreed to do it on the cheap. Don was going to personally pay the extra few hundred dollars to bless Kyle. I asked Don why… He said, because you’re my brother and I love you… Typing this just made me cry again…
Kyle came out and removed all three trees. Don’s son Caleb who owns a landscaping business brought guys in to do all the cleanup. Within a couple of days, the trees were gone.
And now Don is gone too. But guess what? It’s been three years and I still cannot afford to replace the sewer line. But it’s still perfectly fine. No problems since. Granted I go to the bathroom in the back yard and shower with the hose back there, but still.. I kid.
That Thanksgiving morning started off terribly. And had I stuck with my decision to wallow in my self, things could have been very different. Instead God had me serve someone else and take the focus off of myself. Just as I was doing that, He had others serving me. What an amazing blessing. And look how God touched the lives of people in that circumstance.