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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Broken, needing repairs

My dryer needed some repairs. They weren’t urgent, but they needed to get done. I have the ability to do some repairs. My nephew has a power washer that needed some repairs and I was able to do that. But for many things, I call my brother. He just has this amazing ability to understand how things work and what part needs to be replaced.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

In the case of my dryer, I knew what part was broken, but I had no idea how to repair it. My brother found some YouTube videos that explained exactly what to do, step-by-step. After watching the videos, I still wanted his help. In the end, I am really glad my brother came over because I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been successful on my own.

My brother has always been great at fixing things. He says that now with the help of YouTube videos he is willing to try just about anything. I think many videos make it look easier than it really is because they are professionals. There are certain tricks to every trade that can make tasks easier. There are also people, like my brother, who seem more mechanically inclined.

Almost all plumbing projects are a nemesis to me. I always end up with a little container under the joint to catch the drip when I am done. I recently replaced the faucet in a bathroom and I just can’t seem to get it to stop dripping. After multiple attempts, I discovered a leak in the hose. Hopefully, a new hose will solve the problem.

When things break, I will sometimes make an attempt to fix them. Often I like to find someone with the knowledge to get things going again. Through the years I have had my brother and some friends fix things for me, but sometimes they think we need to get a professional. Sometimes things do require a professional to get it done right and safely.

We all get knocked down at times in life. When that happens, we treat it like something around the house that needs repairs. We pull ourselves back up by our own boot straps. Most of us don’t like asking for help. It’s a form of pride. I got knocked down and I will get back up.

For many things in life, we can do that. Then there are times that we need to lean on family and friends. I have some neighbors and friends who have been in the hospital for extended periods of time. When they got home, they needed lots of help. Family and neighbors brought food and offered whatever help was needed.

When people are going through grief, I struggle to know what to do to help. I have been told by many that the best thing to do is be there and let them talk. I can sit and listen, but it feels so inadequate. When we go through seasons of grief, we need each other.

Addiction is another situation where people find their lives are broken. The trouble with addiction is that the person has to admit to themselves that they are hooked on something. When a person gets to that point, then they can begin the steps to recovery, with the help of others.

In every situation in life, it takes faith and knowing that Jesus will walk with you through whatever you face. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. When the religious leaders of Jesus’ day asked why he was hanging around with broken and sinful people, he replied that it’s the sick who need a doctor. He said God desires that we show mercy to others more than making sacrifices to Him.

I think Jesus wants us to be His hands and feet when we see people who are broken and in need. I often don’t know what to do or say to help. Jesus made Himself available with no condemnation, just plenty of love and mercy. He often extended forgiveness, which helps to begin the process of deep inner healing. His words were kind and gentle. He was moved by His compassion. People found hope and acceptance in His eyes.

I want to encourage you to consider how you might be God’s ambassador, His representative, His hands and feet to the people He has placed in your life. Sometimes the simplest favors, a few kind words or a shoulder to cry on can spark hope and faith. Taking a moment to listen and show compassion can unveil God’s love. I wonder how different our world would be if we all lived with more understanding, love, care, mercy and compassion.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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