Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tired, Sore and Still Kind

My husband Allen and our friend Louie are up under Louie's monster RV trying to whack life into the rear jack. It won't retract. That jack is stubborn. Like Louie.

He refuses to quit until he's master of that jack. And that jack resists change. It wants to stay down, flush with the ground here at Padre Island National Seashore, in southeastern Texas. So Louie and Allen (mostly Louie, shown in the picture) whack it, knock it, wrench it and yell at it for hours. Allen offers some supplies, runs to the hardware store for more and gets his  hands a bit dirty in the meantime.  But it's mostly Louie under there, straining, pushing, shoving. 

Now, there's another guy here. I don't know his name. But he looks like Santa Claus on vacation. He has a white beard and white hair. He offers a crowbar, but that's it. He plants himself in a chair and stays there.  Watching. Oh, he offers an  "atta boy" from time to time and he sips his water and reads his book. But he doesn't get up to help.

He sits there and lets Louie do all the work.

He moves his  chair around to stay out of the sun, using the shadow  thrown by Louie's  motorhome to shade his throne. But he doesn't offer a hand to help. He lets Louie do it all.

After hours of strong-arming the jack (and a few calls to a certified technician), Louie (alone under there by now) finally wins, and cranks the now subordinate  jack back up, with us cheering and hydraulic fluid squirting into his hair and down his arm.

Success. And Louie slides out from under there. And now, it's clean up time.

I hand the lazy Santa man his crowbar and he won't touch it. He moves his chin down and his eyes up and  says, "Is it clean?" 

Is it clean???!!!!

I walk away with the crowbar in disbelief.


This man sat in the shade for hours, quenched his thirst, fed his mind while Louie worked furiously on the ground,  got drenched in sweat and hydraulic fluid , cut himself, scratched himself, scraped himself. Stretched his muscles to the breaking point.


I walk over to Louie and hand him the crowbar. "He won't take it," I say, nodding toward the Lazy One. "Until it's clean."

"Oh," says Louie. "OK." 

Then this man, worn out, bleeding and sore, walks over to the spigot, and cleans the crowbar without complaint. Without judgement. While I stand there. And let  him do all the work.

Immediately, I hang my head in shame. Why didn't I clean it? Why did I hand more work to this man who's  overtired and stressed.

Because, I realize, I was too  busy complaining about the Lazy One to see how lazy I had become.

Today's lesson: Matthew 7:3: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"


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