Y’all, my ceiling in my entryway and dining room is drywalled!!
No more polystyrene tiles, no more 1 x 4’s covering the ceiling, and no more cracked, thin 3/8 inch drywall on my ceiling.
But interestingly, in order to get it from this…
…I didn’t have to lift a finger. It’s true. I didn’t have to carry any drywall, or cut any holes for lights, or climb a single ladder, or screw in any of the screws. I just sat and watched while others did this amazing thing for me. And it didn’t cost me a single penny.
This isn’t really a story about a drywalled ceiling. This is a story about the amazing kindness of strangers.
You see, my in-laws go to a non-denominational church in Oregon. That church is a part of an organization of churches consisting of about 1500 churches worldwide. There just happens to be one of those churches here in Waco, so this past Sunday, my father-in-law decided to attend. On the way to church, he began to pray. The truth is that he and I had this huge, daunting project ahead of us, and truth be told, neither of us are really experienced at installing drywall. We both had felt a bit discouraged at the thought of having to tackle this huge room, and so on the way to church, my father-in-law just expressed his frustration to God.
While he was at church, at some point the couple next to him started talking to him, realizing that he was new to the church, and inquired about his visit to Waco. He told them that he was here visiting his son and daughter-in-law, and that while he was here, he was helping me get some things done around the house, like drywalling ceilings. The man, who happened to be a contractor, responded, “How can I help?”
So early yesterday morning, this amazing, kindhearted stranger came over to my house, and he and my father-in-law installed that drywall.
And as if that’s not amazing enough, that’s not all of the story.
At around noon, I went in to take a lunch order so that I could go and get us all some lunch. Our new friend said, “Oh, that’s not necessary. My fiance is on the way, and she’s bringing us lunch.” (!!)
What?! So not only is he installing my drywall free of charge, but his fiance is also providing us with lunch?!
So about 30 minutes later, she arrived with Schlotzsky’s sandwiches, chips, and drinks in hand for all five of us, and we all sat in my music room and had the best time talking, laughing, breaking bread together (as we Christians say 😀 ), and getting to know one another.
And at the end of our time together, there were no strangers in the room.
I felt so immensely blessed, and it went far beyond just getting my ceiling drywalled. It was an encouragement that went much deeper than that. At times we seem to be inundated with news of darkness, evil, devastation, sadness, gloom, hardship and misery. We can begin to lose hope, and begin to question if any goodness remains. It’s amazing how the kindness of a stranger can be such a bright light of hope that cuts through all of that, if even just for a day, or an hour, or a few minutes. It makes me want to try even harder, and make more of a concerted effort, to be that stranger for others.