Chimney Chat

Lately it seems one thing keeps leading to another.

chimneyThe refrigerator needed a clean sweep, and after what could be composted was separated from the rest and put out for critters of various sorts to enjoy, there remained an item or two for the garbage disposal to gobble. With the flip of a switch, down they went—immediately followed by a gush of water from under the sink…

After a proper diagnosis was made, the search for something to catch water from the now terminally leaking bottom of the disposal began.  Ultimately, the large plastic top of a former fruit tray was retrieved from the deep, dark recess of the cabinet containing take-out containers from the Chinese restaurant and my few precious pieces of Tupperware. It served as the perfect drip catcher until the plumber arrived, and later—the exterminator…

While we did not often frequent the back of that particular kitchen cabinet, it had become a virtual hangout for a gang of local mice. Their droppings were everywhere along with a neat little pile of dried dog food the vermin had scarfed for snack-time. The mice, thanks be to God, have now moved on, and all is well in the kitchen again —but not so in the living room…

The line for natural gas does not reach our rural abode.  As a cost-effective alternative to this dilemma we have a large, silver bullet filled with propane buried in the garden. When the gas-man stopped by to top off the tank he discovered it was still full, and asked why we weren’t burning our propane.

The reason for our pitifully poor patronage was due to our cream-colored dog mysteriously turning gray and the noticeably dingy window sheers that were turning the washing machine’s water black.  We rightly concluded something had gone terribly awry with our propane burning fireplace and had stopped using it.  The gas-man sent over a specialist who cleaned and properly rearranged our soot-caked ceramic logs, serviced the fireplace and then provided us with name and number of a reputable chimney sweep—who he suggested we call without delay…

I quickly reached the company’s owner who alleviated the humming in my head of “Chim-Chimney, Chim-Chimney, Chim-Chim-Charoo,” along with the terrifying images of Dick VanDyke covered in soot and clouds of grime belching from beneath a hearth onto the carpet.

We talked a bit more and, as conversations are want-to-do, one thing led to another. Before we said good-bye Daniel shared with me a profoundly touching and personal testimony of God’s provision and working for good in his life what could definitely have been seen as something very bad.

This past Christmas Daniel and his wife were test-driving the dune buggy they excitedly planned to give their children when a wheel caught, the buggy began to tip sideways and Daniel instinctively reached for the roll-bar to steady himself. The worst ensued when the dune buggy fell on its side nearly amputating Daniel’s left hand.

His former training as a law-enforcement agent clicked into place, and he began barking orders to his wife. “Take my belt off – use it as a tourniquet!”  Knowing EMTs would never find them in the isolated area they had chosen for the test drive, Daniel called 911 instructing rescue workers to meet him at a nearby fire station. His wife sped for the highway as Daniel held his arm above his head, losing blood at a life threatening rate, while struggling to remain conscious and alert.

His quick thinking in the face of such a catastrophic injury, his wife’s ability to remain calm and follow directions, the timing of rescue workers and the immediate response of a doctor  recognized as the best hand-surgeon in the southeast, saved Daniel’s life and miraculously, his hand.

As thankful as Daniel is for all the people who helped him his greatest thanks goes to God who he knows was there with him through the accident and sent him a doctor who openly shared he would do all that was humanly possible, but his ultimate healing relied solely upon the Lord.

I listened as Daniel praised God for using the accident to open his eyes to the dangers of driving the seemingly safe and fun dune buggy—that he now won’t let his children even look at—and how sharing the saving grace of Jesus with others has taken on a greater urgency in his life. “It’s funny how after all those years as a cop, where I was shot and saw catastrophic injuries over and over again, I finally realize just how fragile life is, how quickly it all can change, and how important it is to be ready for the day God calls you home. You just never know, do you?”

My “chimney-chat” with Daniel led me to take action and share his life-changing story with you. Now it’s your turn. Pass this post on and be sure to leave a comment to encourage someone else today.

 

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