14 years ago, the first of my crew got married. He took his new bride down to southern Illinois to live in an old run down farmhouse. That house was brutal, but it was what he could afford. So they moved in. And word came to us back in college that the roof was terrible, and he needed help to put a new one on. So the first three day weekend we got we piled into cars, bought the materials needed, and came down for a roofing marathon. It was a great weekend. I think back on it, sitting around the fire after an exhausting days’ work. The joy of helping a friend provide a home for his new family. The satisfaction of working side by side with some of my favorite people in the world.
Fast forward to this weekend. I am in a season of great change. I am getting the house ready for sale, and she needs a new roof. The estimates of having it done are out of my reach. I’m gonna have to do it myself. So, I reach out to those same friends that I worked with all those years ago. I know I can’t do it myself…. I don’t have the knowledge of strength. I reach out having no idea if any of them will be able to come. To my great surprise, four of the same guys that did that roof all those years ago were now side by side helping me out in this time of great change. Not only that, but God brought other help. Guys would just show up and jump on up and push us on even further.
A couple of thoughts as I sit here with a brand new roof and one step closer to the future…
Give. In college, a friend had need, so we dropped what we had and went to help. I have never regretted that. I lived out the words of Jesus and found them to be true. “It is better to give than to receive.” Give yourself away. Be generous with your time and your resources for those you love.
Ask. I needed help. And I didn’t know where to turn to get it. So I asked. And sometimes it is hard to do that. You can’t do it all the time, cause then you’d be a mooch. Not every burden needs to be shared. But having the courage to ask for help is not weakness, it is wisdom. I am so glad to have such good friends to work side by side with. Even in this season, I consider myself to be a blessed man.
Be thankful. I asked, I received. And now I am thankful. I gave my hardworking crew the best food and drink I had to give. Had mom bring by homemade mexican food for lunch. Grilled up some ribs for a job well done. Gave out hugs and handshakes a plenty. Some people ask and then take and just keep walking. But when we are truly blessed, we have to stop and feel that blessing. To really let is wash over us. I laid down with Angie last night as the rain fell, safe under a new roof with no leaks, and we talked about how much work had just been accomplished. Gratitude fills my heart.