Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Speaking Volumes with Silence

It's been a bit busy around here. I don't remember more than a week ago, but a week ago we had family come for a visit. Just like Lawrence Welk, all I can say is "wonderful, wonderful", and if you can envision tiny bubbles in the air it will help with the mental imagery. But having company, and they aren't really company, still tends to trash the house, the car, the budget, the diet. Because being tidy and frugal and all those things would have taken way too much of our time. So I spent Monday taking family back to the airport, then ran errands the rest of the day. Tuesday, hop out of bed, run to Bible study, then lunch afterwards to celebrate the end of the Bible study season, head to the travel agency and make reservations (more about that later!), and then coffee with girlfriends to meet a new grandbaby. Home too late to cook, so we go out - again, then stop by the exercise place to price ellypticals to burn off all the meals we've been eating out and I'm pretty sure it's way cheaper to be flabby. Home too late, to bed too late, to get up too early to leave the house at 7:30 a.m. for another day away from home.

A lovely day away at a quilting conference, ride the trolley back by myself, jump in my car and hurry home to meet Mr. Bathtub Refinisher at the front door. The dogs have been in dog jail all day long and are looking at me with floating eyeballs, so I hurry to let them out, then back inside to talk to Mr. Bathtub Man. He's sooooo proud of his work repainting my a-long-time-ago peach bathtub that he refinished for us 11 years ago for $300 and this time it's $450, but he'd love for me to see the work he spent the entire day doing, while wearing his space suit, with the hose going out the front of the house to keep from killing him and the pets. And, by the way, I need my toothbrush and toothpaste, makeup, hair dryer, etc. because I cannot step a foot in this room for two days.

So he peels the plastic off the doorway, lets me go through ahead of him, and he follows me into my massive 6x6 bathroom to appreciate his work. I peer over the tub to check and see that the flooring didn't get any of this heavy-duty epoxy paint on it. As I lean, I naturally balance myself on the edge of the tub. My hand on the edge of the tub.

The edge of the tub he just finished painting which is still very wet and is now sticking to the undersides of my fingers and my palm. I just stop - freeze. Lift my hand. Don't talk.

"Oh Michael!" (alias Mr. Bathtub Man)

"How bad is it?"

"It's not good - I can see my handprint. Oh Michael."


So after he assures me he can come back on Friday and instead of finishing the job to make the bathroom usable, he will now sand down the edge of the tub, repaint it, blah blah blah and it won't be usable til Monday, I just keep apologizing, wanting to melt into the bathroom floor. He worked all day, and I know we're paying him, but he worked ALL DAY, and I trashed it in approximately 5 seconds.

So I go outside, continue to apologize, and stand and chat with him and his helper while they smoke several cigarettes and I just stand there with the puffs around my head, because I need to be very gracious.

Because I'm an idiot. And I need to SLOW DOWN. And if there is any sermon in all of this, beyond the lesson of possibly living a life that is a bit less jam-packed, I won't quickly forget the grace that bear of a man extended to me with his silence. It spoke volumes - that he didn't say what he undoubtedly was thinking.

Worth remembering. After he repairs the damage I did, I'll still remember grace, spoken through silence.


  posted at 5:22 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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