Saturday, September 17, 2011

For Want of a Spring...

The one area of perfection that continues to elude the dogs is evident when someone approaches the house. I have tried all I know to do to reduce their ear splitting barking at that time. Thus far, I have failed. And a new woe appeared. When our friend walked over a couple of days ago, the dogs erupted into their frenzied barking and lunged against the screen door. They jumped up, reaching for the handle, and opened the door. I grabbed them, and slammed the screen door shut. As soon as I let them loose, they opened the door again.

They are clever dogs, but not that clever. I examined the handle. It was missing something inside the handle that makes it latch closed. So the dogs just had to shove the door with their noses, and it opened. Even when you are not in a flood, like my poor brother, houses break. There is always something in life that needs fixing.

"All you need is a little spring," said Arvo examining the handle. He gave me the door knob and Asherel and I headed to Lowes, the building store. When we arrived, I showed the door knob to one of the orange clad workers, presumably a building expert..
"I need to fix this," I said.
"How does it work?" he asked.
"I don't know...I was hoping you would know."
He fiddled with the latch . It flopped ineffectually back and forth.
"See, it is missing the little spring here," I explained. The worker played with the floppy latch a little more and then shook his head.
"Follow me."
He brought us to the spring section and pulled down a spring ten times the size of the doorknob.
"I don't think that will work," I said.
"We don't have springs small enough...and I am not sure it would work anywhere. I don't see where the spring would attach."
"What would you recommend?"
"A new doorknob."
He took us to the doorknob section of the store. The cheapest new set, and you must buy the whole set though only the latch portion of ours didn't work, was $30.
I took it wearily from his hands. When one's husband is unemployed, even $30 is not be be sneezed at. And it was especially rancorous in that a 10 cent spring could fix the otherwise perfectly fine door knob set we already had.

"What about a Bic pen?" said Asherel.
"You need a pen?"
"No, I mean what about the spring on a click pen?"
I blinked at her.
"Can I see the old door knob?" she asked.
I handed it to her and she looked carefully at it. She moved the broken latch back and forth.
"I think I can fix this," she said.
I bought the $30 door knob just in case, and put the receipt in the bag with it. If she succeeded, I could bring it back.
"It might not work," she said, "But we have nothing to lose except a pen."

Back at home, she laid out an assortment of pens and dismantled them all. Then she carefully chose the strongest spring that she thought might fit. After about ten minutes of tinkering, she looked up and smiled, holding the door knob out to me.
"It works," she said.
Arvo put the doorknob back on the door, and the dogs glared at us. They nuzzled the door but it remained latched.

"Asherel, you are a genius. And you are a scientist. I think one day, you will change the world."

I give up too easily. And I don't have a scientific mind. I can't tinker and find solutions. I can draw and I can write, I can represent the world...but I can't fix it. God loves those who take the time to repair the broken. It is, in fact, His specialty. He could easily just toss all of us away, and start fresh.And most of the time, we deserve it. Instead, He seeks to repair and to restore. I don't know about you, but there are many times I have hung my head and said," I am broken beyond repair. It is not worth bothering anymore with me."
Every time, God lays a gentle arm around my shoulder that feels like a silken sunbeam, and whispers, "Nothing I create is beyond repair. Just trust me, I can make you better than new."

"Does it work?"  I asked Arvo, as he finished screwing the doorknob in place.
"Good as new," he said.

Isaiah 58:11-13

11 The LORD will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.