This morning Cliff managed to bust a great big hole in the hood of the little John Deere compact tractor that does all the real work around here. As tractors go, it isn't that old... OK, maybe fifteen years or so, but compared to our OTHER tractors, it's like new. It's the closest to a new tractor Cliff ever owned. He hates anything happening that messes with the appearance of his machinery or his vehicles.
He called the John Deere dealer to see how much a new hood would cost. The hood alone was over $400 and the decals and foam stuff inside the hood brought the price up to around $500. Knowing him well, I told him we could forgo our trip to Arkansas this weekend and we'd have the cash in hand for a new hood.
He thought about it, said he hated to cheat me out of a trip, and decided to see if he could repair it to his satisfaction.
This afternoon, after spending quite a bit of time in his shop, he came to the house with the type of problem that is very familiar to both of us in these last few years, and getting more common all the time. He told me he had made a trip to O'Reilly in Odessa and bought a couple of tubes of J-B Weld quick-setting epoxy to use for his repair job; he had used one, but couldn't find the second one. He said he had looked in every place it could possibly be. Nobody had been in the shop except him. How do you lose just one of a pair of identical items you've purchased two hours ago?
Cora wanted to go to the shop anyhow, so we went and I started looking. Many times a new set of eyes catches something that other eyes missed. I opened drawers ("I looked in drawers" he said. I dug in trash cans ("I dumped that trash can out and went through it," he informed me.)
You get the picture. I did finally mention one place he hadn't thought of, but it wasn't there. He and Cora began playing a game where she hooked a tie-down strap to the hammer loop on his overalls and said he was a dog named Skye and then led him around, so while they played, I hunted. "Did you check in the car?" I asked him. Yes, he had, even though he was positive that he had brought both packages of the stuff to the shop anyhow.
I decided to go look out to our garage and look in the car myself, to no avail.
Now here's where I'll lose some of you.
I don't pray for a lot of things. I seldom even ask for healing for my friends and family except for them to receive strength and peace. I have a very strong sense that God's gonna do what God's gonna do. Don't get me wrong, I know He cares about us. I just don't feel he needs us to spur him on to activity.
Most of my prayers are to thank Him, and I have plenty of stuff to keep me praying that way. But today I stopped in front of the garage and said, "God, I know that You know where that stuff is, and if You'll help me find it, I promise I'll give you credit."
I went back to the shop and looked around even though I'd already looked everywhere. My eyes landed on the trash can that I had started to dig through before Cliff stopped me. What could it hurt to dig through it anyhow? I moved about three items and there it was, the J-B Weld, just as big as you please. Because I had promised God I'd give him credit, I told Cliff the story as I handed him the stuff.
Cliff, of course, is a skeptic. "I don't think God is worried about me finding my J-B Weld," he said.
So, I'm telling the story here. You don't see me "get religious" very often on my blog, and I really wouldn't say that's what I'm doing now. But a promise is a promise, and I said I'd give Him credit if we found it.