Wednesday afternoon following the end-of-school party (see earlier blog, Summer's Dance) Rachel and I walked into the house and I was planning to start dinner - a celebration meal of one of my family's favorite dishes. However, as I walked upstairs from the basement I was smacked in the face by the realization that the house felt extremely warm. Here in Atlanta we were blessed with an extremely pleasant Spring and have recently entered the summer days that push temperatures into the 90s. I checked the thermostat and held my foot up to one of the air conditioning vents. Everything seemed to be working properly. Stalling on dinner because I knew the oven would be involved I made a few phone calls, checked my email, and put away some laundry.
About an hour later the house was still getting warmer and I had a growing concern that we were in for some bad news about our a/c system. Not something we wanted to have to deal with any time, but especially with Richard and me both unemployed. By 11pm on Wednesday night the temperature was a sweltering 81 degrees inside the house! Then I remembered we had a cheer uniform consignment sale scheduled to begin the next morning which meant a house full of moms and cheerleaders trying on uniform parts and pieces trying to save a little before ordering a brand new uniform from the rep.
We decided to go ahead and call our heating and air guy, George, and leave a message so he would know first thing the next morning that we were having trouble. I was shocked when he answered the phone - it was after 11pm - but very thankful. He stayed on the phone with me while I checked a few things before concluding that, in fact, we were going to need a service call. He was planning to be out late in the afternoon on Thursday. I got up early Thursday morning and opened all the windows trying to move air through the house and was grateful to see that the skies were overcast.
Consignment sale went well, temperatures stayed moderately comfortable, and the sun stayed hidden behind dense clouds most of the day. Thank you, Jesus. Sitting at the computer late Thursday afternoon I looked out the window and saw really dark skies moving in our direction. Yes! Rain is coming! I love, love, love rainy days but it seemed especially welcome knowing that it would carry with it dropping temperatures and breezes. Boy, was I right! We had a whopper of a storm - thunder, lightning, lights flickering on and off, and hard rain.
George finally made his way to our house well past dinnertime. After checking a few things he determined that the pump had gone bad. Great. How much is this going to cost? And how long before we have air? George could tell by the look on our faces that we were near panic mode. I finally bit the bullet and asked, "how much? and how long?" He broke into a huge smile and said, "Let me tell you a story."
George then began to share with us that he had installed a brand new, several-thousand-dollar system for a customer earlier in the week. This same gentleman had bought a new pump last year but when he opted for the new system he wanted everything brand new, high quality, and that had resulted in another new pump. The guy could easily have sold the pump to someone else or even sold it back to George but he didn't. He told George to put it on his truck thinking that someone else might be in a jam and need one. Really? Richard then asked how much the 'used' pump would be. George smiled again and said, "you know, I could sell it but I'd rather bless you with it." Really?? Arrangements were made for the new pump and Richard walked outside with George to pay him for the service call - we should at least pay for that. George wouldn't accept a penny.
We have been navigating the jagged-edge State of Uncertainty for quite some time. Our jobs (or lack of), our finances, even our housing is on shaky ground. I have to admit I've been questioning if God is hearing my prayers or cares that my hands and knees are getting bloody. What began yesterday with overcast skies as a gentle reminder that He knows, He hears, and He cares ended with a shout out of provision for me and my family.
In case you're wondering, yes, Jesus loves me. This I know.