Wednesday, September 14, 2011
It's a miraculous day in the neighborhood
7:44 p.m. Today's project was to get our circuit breaker turned back on about an hour ago.
I had turned on the microwave and the oven at the same time, briefly, which I've done before with no problem. Once every few years, the circuit that runs both those appliances, the front porch light and the desktop computer would get tripped, so on big cooking days like Thanksgiving, I plug a small microwave in an outlet belonging to another circuit so as not to have the meal ruined. Otherwise, Steve would just jet outside to the circuit box, flip over the switch and all of those appliances would pop right back on. He had labeled each one when we first moved in, so it was easy.
One Tuesday night years ago Steve was at men's study and the circuits blew, so "Baby" Steven and I went out to do the switch-flipping deal, were clueless, and ended up with all the electricity to the house turned off! (I even called Riverside City Utilities to make sure our bill had been paid). We prayed and brought on the candles and flashlights to sit together reading, I think my grad school and his high school homework, until Steve got back. But it was getting late, and we had messed up so badly that we had to call the utility emergency people, and that city worker arrived about the same time as Steve. Embarassing! I think a fuse had blown. Steven's and my bad!
"Don't send a fool on an errand," I believe Proverbs 26:6 says!
Dinner time today was simple: broiled hotlinks in buns, and refried beans in the microwave, with homegrown marinated cucumber slices from our friends the Martinezes. The issue began when I ran the microwave briefly while the oven broiler was on. I didn't even realize it until I checked on the hot links to turn them over, and tried to set a timer to get some nice crispy blackened spots on them. The lit areas were blacked out on the oven and the microwave--uh-oh! So I rousted Steve and we went to the circuit box and began madly flipping the switches in the sections labeled "kitchen." Steve didn't remember which switch powers the oven and microwave, so of course we couldn't get anything going. I was definitely grateful that the Lord had led me to print up lessons for Bible study tomorrow earlier in the afternoon, because my desktop computer was also powerless. God was looking out for me and the ladies, as always.
We went next door, no one was home, and then I called a few other neighbors, no luck, and the kids were nowhere around. So we ate dinner, which was actually cooked well enough and at eating temperature. I brushed my teeth and strode out the front door looking for any neighbor guy I could catch to come over, since we all have identical electrical boxes. When I left, Steve was pushing buttons on the dead stove and microwave, so I figured he was occupied.
My thinking was basically Proverbs 27:10, "Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far off."
About four houses down, I came upon a man I didn't know, mowing his lawn. I introduced myself and told him about our problem, and that Steve forgot what to do, and he said, "Is he the one who walks the dogs every day?" "Yes, that's him!" I answered. So he cut the power to his mower and walked up the block with me, saying, "No problem!"
And it was no problem! Our neighbor Dan found a switch that was tripped halfway, shut it all the way off, and then flipped it on. Voila! The front porch light was on.
The neighbor then asked whether we had a lawn service--you can't miss our overgrown lawn--and I told him our mower was in the shop until Friday. He asked if we had a big lawn in the back, and I said "Oh yes, solid grass, but the dogs don't mind!" So if we don't have a mower by Friday, he volunteered that if we walk down to see him, he'll be out front edging his lawn and he'll help us as long as there is some daylight. Nice neighborly attitude! Reminds me of the street I grew up on--people just walked over and helped each other.
And finally, the miraculous aspect of this evening? I asked Dan what he did for a living, and he said, "I'm an electrician for a school district. That's why I said, 'NO PROBLEM!' "
I'm so blown away by the Lord's goodness, because I know that for God, there is no problem, ever, when it comes to helping a couple of His kids!