Ace is the Place

My husband and I came home from vacation last month, and we were treated to the sight of a waterfall. It sounds better than it was, actually. The water was cascading from our kitchen ceiling light fixture. 

Welcome home, y’all!

Fortunately, it was an easy fix. The grout in the upstairs shower had cracked. We (and when I say ‘we’, I mean my husband) needed to scrape the old stuff out, and apply some caulk. Problem solved.

Scraping started; I headed off to our local hardware store for caulk. I like to go there when I can, because the people working there are friendly, and are happy to help.

Walking into the store, I was approached by Linda. I know her by name because last time I was at Ace, she helped me with a large order. 

Back then, she told me that she had some recent surgery. It went well, but she was left without the sense of smell or taste. We talked a while about the challenges, like motivating herself to eat. And there was a treatment she was trying to get, so she could get her sense of smell back. I hadn’t seen her since then.

Seeing her again, I asked how her recovery was going. As we headed down the caulk aisle, I found out the treatment was helping, she could taste ‘a little bit.’ She turned to me and said “But I know I’m lucky. I recovered; the tumor is gone. It’s not so bad.”

She went on to say that every day she sees customers with all kinds of problems. Elderly people struggling to keep up their property, a parent caring for a sick relative and her own children at the same time, and people 'going under' with house payments. “That’s what really gets to me,” she said. “This economy is really hurting people.”

She went on to tell me an incredible story. A man came into the store for a hardware item. He got to talking to Linda (not surprising), and told her he was about to lose his home. His job gone, he was unable to pay his bills. What really got to her were the two little children, each holding one of their Daddy’s hands while he spoke.

“What a sad situation!” I said to Linda as I grabbed the caulk tube tighter. How many other families in my town were affected like that? 

But this man’s story didn’t cause Linda to wonder at all. She told me that she led the little family to some chairs,  and then called our local county office. On the phone, she explained the predicament this man was facing. He didn’t know where to turn. Could they be of any help? 

“Just send him over,” they replied. “We can help, and we’ll take it from here.”

I just stared at Linda. I was in awe of this woman. The passage from James flashed though my mind. “…and you say to them; ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled; without giving them the things they needed for the body, what good is that?’”

Walking to my car, I was so inspired. God makes his appointments and then eagerly waits to see what we will do with them. Linda did not disappoint.

Reminders of those God-appointments are everywhere, aren’t they? 

Lord, please lead me gently where you want me to go. Give me the grace to help when I can, and convince me when I think I can't. 

Who would have expected that a visit to the hardware store would be so inspirational? 

Ace really is the place.

Linking with: Tell His Story, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R and R Wednesdays,
                      Wednesday Prayer Girls
                      Intentional Me

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