While no one will argue that this has been a year that we don’t want to ever repeat, we have reached a time when we seek out the reason to find that peace and joy. No matter how much we are struggling, we want to believe that somewhere, there is still reason to believe.
A couple of months ago I began trying to get my wood stove ready for cold weather. The stove is twenty-eight years old. It has definitely seen some use in its time. I wanted to make sure it was ready.
I immediately ran into a problem. The draft wouldn’t open. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get that thing to budge at all. Even my son couldn’t get it to open. In frustration I walked away. A few days later I tried again. I had removed the stove pipe from the top of the stove so I could reach down inside to remove the buildup of creosote. I also dragged my shop vac in from the carport. By the time I was done, my hand and arm looked as if I had been in a fight with several cats that shed black coal dust. The canister of the vacuum was heavy, but the draft still wouldn’t budge.
A few days after that my son removed an access plate that was on the back of the stove. From there I had better access and could finally get everything cleaned out. My hand that had not quite healed, was mildly mangled again, but this time, success. The draft was moving.
Now we had a different problem. The plate my son had removed, had never been removed before. And it was obvious. He took it to work with him and using tools he had there, cleaned it of all the rust and buildup. While he was doing that, I went and purchased a new seal. This were looking up, we thought.
When he removed the plate, and got it cleaned, he saw how badly one of the connectors was damaged. Without it, the plate would not stay in place. Try as we might, we could not find replacement parts. I feared I was going to have no choice but replace the entire stove over the one, small piece.
By now you may be wondering, what all of this has to do with seeking the reason for the season. I’m glad you asked. I happened to recall a friend telling me that he was knowledgeable about wood stoves and he would try and help me. This was back when I was fighting with the draft. I sent him a message and began the conversation on what was going on and what we had done so far. He asked me to send him photos of the part, then the next day he dropped by and took a look at what we had.
Since that moment he has been on a quest to find the parts needed to get my stove back together. I’ve lost track of how many places he has visited and how many people he has spoken with. He has spent very long, I mean, very long hold times on the phone with people trying to get what would work. He has kept me informed of what he was doing and what was holding things up. My comments of appreciation have been accepted but also explained that he was enjoying the challenge and glad to be of help. He’s hoping that the ordered parts will be here by early next week.
He didn’t have to go to all this trouble. He didn’t have to spend so much of his time doing this for me. But, he is living the instructions of taking care of the widows. (or helping a friend in need)
In the New Testament book of Luke, the birth of Jesus the Christ is told. In Chapter 2, it tells of the angels appearing to the shepherds who were watching their flocks. In the time of Jesus, shepherds did not hold a high status, but were considered honest. Simple folks, who were beyond honored to be chosen. (In researching this I found some amazing information that I had not realized before, but will share in a later write) Who once they realized, who it was they had been told about and seen, ran to share with everyone.
Jesus the Christ is born. The One foretold. The One who come to bring what no other could. He had come to fulfill the law, but also to bring in the new. Love, peace, forgiveness, an understanding that what many think important such as social status and wealth will fall away. Faith and belief, following the Way, is what matters.
This friend of mine, has gone to so much trouble, and he isn’t finished yet. He hopes that we can have the wood stove back together soon. He doesn’t realize the gift that he has given me already. A renewed faith in humanity,, through one act of kindness.