She really didn’t think she needed anything new, but when her daughter offered to go look with her and her son-in-law offered to stay with her husband, the stage was set for new possibilities.
They needed a new dryer, so that’s what they went shopping for. While she was there, she ended up buying a dryer and a stove. You see, she had been cooking on one working burner for years. Well, perhaps none of them were working now. I don’t think the oven was working too well either. No question, it was a legitimate need!
She is 82. He is 89. They are the admirable generation that fixes things, that doesn’t throw things away, that doesn’t covet ‘new’ when you have something else that will do. For the last ten years she’s wondered how much longer they would be able to stay in their home. Why buy a nice stove when the people who eventually buy the house may just replace it?
As it was, she bought a stove that may not have been the best in quality but that looked like her 40 year old Frigidaire. Working or not, we get comfortable with the familiar.
The appliances were delivered last week. She did laundry Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She was happy to dry the towels and bedding so efficiently without having to hang everything in the basement to dry. That one purchase alone, made her life so much easier.
It may be hard for us to imagine how to function with appliances that don’t work. It may even be easy to criticize someone for not replacing them with ones that do. But it didn’t happen all at once. One burner stopped working. Certainly we can make do just fine with three. Months or years later another stops working… and so on… and so forth. Before we know it, none of them work. Oh, and the heating element in the stove? Well, I can’t quite remember when that was working properly.
We do the same. Have you lost a little joy in the midst of your journey through life? Has the love for your spouse or your friend or your job or your Lord slowly burned out? Are you operating just fine not using that burner? How’s the temperature on your faith these days? Or have you more or less stopped using it, since it’s not quite hot enough? See what I mean? We all may be more like this sweet 82 year old than we’d like to think. Oh, we’ve done without those things this long. Why replace it, renew it or refresh it now? Does it really make any difference? Have we gotten used to the old? Or do we just no longer see a need for the new?
If we see ourselves at all in this story, then let’s follow her lead to the end. She ventured out. Her heart was at peace knowing her dear husband was being taken care of. She had help from her faithful daughter there to read the prices and features for her. She looked at possibilities. She made the decision that she wanted that best met her needs as she sees it. She did not even have to buy the best. She bought what she was comfortable with. And she is so happy that she did! Truly, these two new appliances have restored some joy to her daily life.
What about us? We may only have one burner out right now and making do seems just fine. It may just be one element of our lives that is not working quite right. But if it is our hope, or our love, or our faith, or our creativity, or our joy, or our patience that we have lost, then it is worth doing what we need to in order to have it working again. Not only will our life seem much easier and more efficient, but chances are, we will be happy we did!
Wanting Things in Working Order With You,