Posted in Family, friends, Grace, gratitude, life, love, loving others, Scripture, thankful, Trials

An Angel Named Tom

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.” James 1:17

It was the same story every night. When my family and I lived in Cobden we had the adventure of living in a 100-year-old Victorian home.  It really was an adventure.  It was partially restored and over the thirteen years we lived there, we changed and upgraded so many things.  It was kinda like the kid’s song, “The Song that Never Ends.”  So many of the things we did were low budget because, well, we had a low budget. Money was a little tight, but it seemed God always provided.

The house didn’t have air conditioning and sometimes that was a bit uncomfortable.  It did have one of those big attic fans…you know, the kind that can suck the sheets right off the bed. That provided a cool breeze through the windows on those comfortable, Southern Illinois, nights.  However, if you’ve ever lived in a place like Southern Illinois, you know that often the days and nights are anything but comfortable.  It is more like living in the Amazon basin in South America.  Two words described it: hot and humid. On those nights, there was no attic fan in the world that was going to help.

Eventually we got a used window air conditioner and put it in our bedroom.  Then we would make beds on the floor, and everyone would sleep in the same room until the nights became more bearable.  We sounded like the Walton’s as we all said goodnight to one another. This went on for several years until one day hope…and help…arrived.  Someone had a used central air conditioning unit that they sold to us on the cheap.  The only problem, the upstairs didn’t any duct work or vents…nada…zero.  And then God sent us a couple of heroes…or at least to us they were heroes.

A family in our church had a son who installed air conditioning.  His name was Tom.  He lived an hour away but, knowing our plight, he wanted to help.  He said he would come over after work (driving an hour) and install our air conditioning…including building the duct work we would need.  And, that’s not all, his dad Bill, who attended our church, joined the team. So, for the next couple of weeks, in the heat of summer, after working a long day, these two men came and climbed into our attic and worked and sweated.  Oh yes, I was there too but only as a nuisance, I’m sure.

After a couple of weeks of intense, hot labor, finally the day came to flip the switch. Wonderful, magically cool air began flowing softly through the new installed system.  What was normal for so many was heaven for us.  What had been a hot summer routine of pallets on the floor and life with the Waltons came to a close.  And, even now, as my fingers mash the keys on the keyboard, I am smiling.  I am just amazed how God provided this family and these friends to help us…without taking a dime. Two angels of mercy with the unlikely names of Tom and Bill.

Over the years, there have been other stories, other angels of mercy and I’ll write about them too one day.  The stories need to be told because they are stories of love—both the love of God and love of God lived out.  The stories need to be told because they remind us, all of us, to be grateful for the things God has provided through this great adventure called life.  James, the half-brother of Jesus said, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.” There is no doubt in my mind that is true…not just for me…but for you too.

It’s a bit tricky but be sure and look around for the everyday blessings that God sends your way…oh, and He does send them.  When you see them, remember them, write them down in your heart or in a journal.  Then, when leaner times come, they will remind you of the faithfulness of your Dearest Daddy. Also, they will also remind you that no matter what, you can know, you can believe that, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne