Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Entertaining Angels


About a year ago we had to call a plumber to remove a clog in the shower drain. As he was working, I asked him about the cold water faucet that seemed to require a good deal of tightening to shut off the water completely.

Without really looking at the faucet he gave me the dire prediction that the washer was soon to go. On account of the age of the hardware, he continued, the whole thing would need replacement; probably even requiring that tiles be broken for access or a hole be made in the wall of the adjacent room. What?? Aaagghh... This just didn't sound good. I ignored it.

Now, however, that we are preparing the house for an inspection and sale I took a close look at that faucet and realized that something had gone as there was a slow drip (that turned to a drizzle when the water was running) and it was getting into the wall. Not good.

We tried to remove the faucet ourselves to see the problem, but, as the plumber-of-doom had predicted, the hardware had welded to itself over the years. That screw would not turn and all our continued efforts did nothing but bring us closer to stripping it. Not good.

So, I called Roto-Rooter. A second opinion couldn't hurt and they offer fast service and free estimates. They said someone would be here within the hour. Good.

I called all the boys together and told them what was happening and we prayed, "Lord, you have helped us to find a buyer for our home. Now help us, please, to fix this leaking faucet without too much trouble or expense." We said an Our Father, asked for St Joseph's intercession, and before we knew it the Roto-Rooter van was parked out front. Good.

A short bearded man that smelled of stale tobacco presented himself. I showed him the leak and the ancient screw. He tried to turn it and said, "We're not off to a good start, here." Not good.

I ignored him, went downstairs to make lunch, and left him to his work. As I made the sandwiches, our plumber passed back and forth from his van to our bathroom, whistling all the while. I could hear clanks and clacks and probably the neighbor's pipes, so attentive were my ears to the slightest noise that would hint at progress.

The third time our plumber passed through the kitchen he dropped five bendable, winking Roto-Rooter dolls holding red plungers beside me. "Those'r for the kids," he said and was off before I could ask any questions.

As the boys ate lunch and played with the dolls our plumber came downstairs and handed me the nearly-stripped screw. "How did you get it out?" I asked.

"Trick-of-the-trade, Maam. I'm a plumber. That's what I do. I fix things. Your faucet is fine, now."

"Well, you're amazing. Thank you so much. How much do I owe you?"

"Nothin'," he said putting up his hand, "What, will I charge you $175.00 for a service fee? I don' think so."

"What can I say? I can't thank you enough...oh, and the boys love the dolls. How did you know to bring in five? Did you count the children?"

"No, I knew there were lots but wasn' sure how many. Lucky guess, I s'pose. Five, hu? You'ra lucky lady."

Lucky guess..lucky lady...and yet, somehow, I didn't see any of this as mere "luck."

30 comments:

Alice said...

Oh, now this is a GREAT story, and it hits so close to home! It wasn't too long ago we were fixing things in our last house and praying it wouldn't cost too much.

I am saying a Hail Mary for that kind man.

Love2Learn Mom said...

What a wonderful story! I have tears in my eyes.

Jamie said...

What a wonderful man!! Prayers out to him, he deserves the extra graces!

Anonymous said...

Ohmigosh!

Brought to tears, am I! (gosh that sounds like Yoda).

What a beautiful story!

Anonymous said...

I would call it "Divine Luck!!" :)

Erin said...

That brought me to tears. What an amazing story!

Anonymous said...

God is truly good. May he bless this man and his family for many years to come.

Karen said...

Sounds like God sent you an angel! Thanks for your post!

Anonymous said...

Praise God! A beautiful story of the smaller ways God reveals himself to us.

Jill said...

I love this story. You know the "Amazing Grace for..." series? You should write a book called, "Amazing Grace in the Little Things." This story, plus the story of your neighbor are simple, yet they truly are touching.
And as a side note. I have to admit that I really like those little plumber dolls. Maybe it's the way you had them all lined up for the picture that made me laugh so much this morning!

helene said...

Ha! Ha! One time our phones wouldn't work no matter what we tried. When the repairman got here and noticed all the toddlers running about he stooped down to inspect an unused, forgotten old phone jack near the floor in our kitchen. With a needle-nosed pliers he pried out a metal staple that some child had jammed down in there causing all our phones to short out. He refused to charge us. When we asked him why, he said, "Because my son once put his peanut-butter-and-fluff sandwhich into the VCR!" and then he left!

Jen said...

Don't you love it when stuff like that happens? It just makes you realize that you are not alone, and God even takes care of the little things. How cool that his "guess" was five. And I so happy the facuet thing was fixed with no cost to you. Selling a house is stressful enough without having major repairs expenses on top of it.

What a wonderful story!

Jen

Theresa said...

That is a terriffic story! What a kind, thoughtful man and how very blessed you are to have "lucked" into him!

Lucy said...

Don't you love it when the little things work out!?! Especially when they give you those little chills of Divine-Intervention-Right-In-Front-Of-My-Eyes!

Lisbet said...

Awesome Story! What an angel! :)

Jennifer said...

What a story!!!! That will make you happy for years to come! Yay for nice people! I had a few tears too...

Suzanne Temple said...

Thanks everyone, I had a goofy grin on my face and tears in my eyes for the rest of the day after that plumber left. I felt a little silly about it, but now that I read all your comments, I see that most of you would have, too! What great friends you are!

Diane said...

This is an amazing story! Proof that prayer works and that good still exists in this crazy world. And recounted by a masterful storyteller---thank you, Suzanne!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing little miracle! Sounds like the plumber was heaven sent.

Suzanne Temple said...

Oh, yes, and jill, I like the dolls, too. The boys thought they looked like they were about to do some dance number in this photo.

Also, those plungers have real suction...so,all you ladies with daughters out there, if you ever have a back up in a doll house you know where to call.

Anonymous said...

I think your goofy grin and teary eyes were certainly justified! How creative of your sons to think they looked like they were ready to break into a musical number! I think mine would have imagined they were lining up for battle against the evil forces of Sink Trap! Right now everything is a battle (in more ways than one.)

Formerly CMW --- now signing off with a real name, but still maintaining a little bit of anonymity.

Cay G. said...

What a great story, Suzanne.
Thanks for sharing it, you lucky lady, you. :)

Anonymous said...

Great story...it's nice to see that angels come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and occupations too.

Rose said...

What a great story. You *are* lucky.

Suzanne Temple said...

C.m.w./matilda, I like the new name. It suits you well. Always a joy to read your comments! Thank you!

Thank you cay, and rose! I am "lucky" to have visitors like you.

Michelle says..."angles come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and occupations, too." I like that michelle. Very good.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne,
That is a *wonderful* story! He was an angel indeed.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne,
Once again you have warmed my heart with an inspiring tale. God bless that kind man and you for sharing your answered prayers to affirm our faith. Thank you so much!
-kristina

Rebecca said...

That is such a neat story. I will say a prayer for that kind fellow!

Mary Ellen Barrett said...

Isn't it amazing how well taken care of we are by Our Father? He tends to our material needs and realized you needed a spiritual boost as well. I am so glad it worked out and I will say a Hail Mary for that nice plumber.

Suzanne Temple said...

Yes, Mary Ellen, it is true and thanks for visiting!