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Grace Notes: Lessons from my knees

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By Nancy Kennedy

As I was on my knees one Saturday afternoon, I had an epiphany.

Lest you think I was on my knees praying, I wasn't, although Lord knows I should have been. And it wasn't so much an epiphany as it was a random thought.

My husband and I were painting, he up on a ladder, me on my knees with a brush, painting the bottom of the walls along the edging.

My random thought was that everything in life illustrates Bible truth, as someone once said. On that Saturday, with a paintbrush in my hand, I thought about how Jesus talked about counting the cost of following him.

He said a person who sets out to build a tower doesn't just start building it, but first determines if he has enough money to finish it. "Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you" (Luke 14:29, my paraphrase).

My husband and I had taken careful measurements of this particular room to determine how much it would cost to paint it. Since it wasn't our room, we wanted to make sure we estimated accurately.

However, even though our mathematical calculations were accurate, we didn't count on the walls sucking up primer like it was a thirsty kid drinking a strawberry lemonade slushie on a sweltering summer day.

So, instead of two gallons of primer, it took three, and two gallons of the colored top coat, "Comet Dust," instead of one.

Earlier, when we were at The Home Depot getting the third gallon of primer, I told my husband about "House Crashers," a TV show I've been watching on the DIY cable channel.

The host of the show, general contractor Josh Temple, hangs around home improvement stores talking to people about their home improvement projects.

Without giving away what he's up to, he tries to get homeowners to let him come home with them. He'll say, "I'm a contractor and I'm looking for work. Let me follow you home to take a look."

Most people say no, because, well, would you let some stranger follow you home? But someone always agrees, and once Josh gets there he tells the homeowner he'll be back bright and early in the morning with a bunch of contractor friends and they're going to totally redo whatever room the person's working on.

It usually involves tearing down walls and installing state-of-the-art, super-tricked-out windows and doors and flooring and appliances.

So, when we were at The Home Depot, I kept hoping Josh was there and we could pretend to not know who he is and we could agree to have him come and redo the room we were working on.

That, however, didn't happen.

But as I was on my knees I thought about how that's what Jesus does to people. You're going about your regular life and he just sort of invades your space (minus the camera crew, of course) and says, "Let me come home with you."

Lots of people say no, but some say yes, even though in the back of their minds they're thinking, "This is nuts and I might regret it, but something inside me says I should."

And then he comes and he knocks out a wall or two and in the end you're made brand new, although with "House Crashers" the work takes only three days and with Jesus it takes a lifetime.

Also, when I was on my knees painting, I thought about how I originally thought I could paint that room by myself, but I couldn't. I'm not tall enough or skilled enough, and my husband is quite skilled and way more knowledgeable - and taller than me.

I thought about how someone needed to be in charge and my husband is better at it than I am and that I actually prefer being the helper. I thought about how there can only be one God per universe, and as I kept getting my section of the wall drippy, I was glad that God is God and I'm not since if I can't even paint a room alone, I surely can't run the world.

I also thought about being on my knees and that God often talks to people while they're down on the floor.

Even if they're just kneeling to paint and not necessarily to pray.