Thursday, December 20, 2012

Local Heroes

This morning there was a loud boom.  Half of the house was without electricity.  The furnace would not run.  The kitchen refrigerator was without power along with several other important appliances.

After checking all of the breakers several times, it was clear that something happened so that one leg of power coming into the house was not functional.  We called the power company and left a message with the automated system.

Then, I went to my shop and retrieved a heavy duty extension cord to run from one of the functional outlets to the furnace, the refrigerator, and the coffee maker.  Soon the house was warm, the food was safe, and the coffee was pouring.  My wife commented, “I never would have thought of doing that.”

I felt surprised by that as she is a very intelligent person.  But she also is a woman, and like most women, that is not her way of processing information and assessing a situation.  Likewise, there are things that she would automatically consider in other situations that likely would not occur to me as a man.  God has made us differently.  Men are called to serve as husbands and women as wives.  These are two very different but necessary vocations.

However, the real focus of this post is concerning the men who came later to repair the power line.  After the sun had risen and the daylight shown brightly, the problem was easily detected.  The strong winds during the early morning hours had broken a large limb from a tree and sent it crashing into the power lines, snapping one of the secondary lines, the ones coming from the transformer.

The temperature outside was quite cold.  The men were dressed heavily.  After assessing the situation, one man climbed the power pole with a strong rope.  Another man turned off the power to the transformer.  The third man repaired the break in the snapped line and attached it to the rope for the other man to raise into place.  Together the two worked to draw the line taught.  It was reconnected, the rope was withdrawn and the man on the pole climbed safely to the ground. Then the third man turned the power to the transformer on again and full power was restored for all of the affected homes.  The total time for total loss of power was about fifteen minutes.

These men worked quickly, effectively, and safely.  To them, this was just a routine repair on a very simple outage.  But they set things right for all who depended upon them.  They worked wonderfully together for the benefit of all.  This they do routinely, even as a mother does laundry and a father ties the children’s shoes.  Such things generally are taken for granted.  But they are acts of heroism.  They are acts of faithfulness and love.

It is good when we recognize such things for what they are and give thanks to God for these heroes that He has placed in our lives, and furthermore to show appreciation to these dear servants through whom the Lord provides for our needs.

Very soon we will celebrate the birth of the Savior to the world.  Another couple of heroes were used by God for this purpose.  Joseph and Mary are these blessed heroes.  Mary was the one favored by God to be the vessel through whom Jesus was born into the world to save us.  Joseph was the one whom God appointed to be the caregiver and provider for God in the flesh and for His mother.  Through these two gentle servants God worked the miracle of salvation coming for all the world.

This is God’s way.  People look for miracles, but do not recognize them when they see them.  The love of father and mother for their children, the oversight of one sibling for the others, and the faithful daily activities of power repairmen, along with the host of others that we take for granted, this is the love of God at work in the world.  These are God’s miracles in the making, God’s local heroes who often don’t even know how powerfully they are being used.

Perhaps this is something for us all to ponder as we see the various displays of Christmas lights in the community, and especially when we go to bed in a house that is still warm with lights that come on with the flip of switch.  Thanks be to God for all of His miracles and heroes, the greatest of all being Immanuel.

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