It was a couple of years back while Betty was in the middle of her cancer treatment, (and I must add, on some pretty high powered medication,) that one day I tried to be sensitive and helpful. I don't think those characteristics come naturally. I think they have to be crafted and honed continually, because if used in the wrong way or time, they can come back to bite you. (I am currently being treated for bites!) Thinking along the lines of cooking dinner or vacuuming the living room, I patiently waited for her response. She looked up at me with those beautiful brown eyes that snagged me so long ago and sweetly though a little sluggishly (don't forget the medicine) said, "I've always wanted a sunroom built on to our bedroom, with big windows that look out over the lake."
WHAT?! I already had the vacuum plugged in and was reaching for the can of chili. WHAT?! "Honey, I love you, but, I'll tell you right now, there's just no way in the world I have time to build a sunroom onto the house." So.....a few weeks go by and I'm building a sunroom onto the house..., and I began to have trouble with my nail gun. I work with it and take it apart and clean it. I change the battery and put a new propane cartridge in it, and still it doesn't work. I give it one more chance to act right as I press it firmly against the new door frame for the new sunroom, and it explodes in my hand and flames go everywhere. My eyebrows instantly left my face and apparently headed for a colder climate. I was quite surprised by the loud explosion though you could never tell it by my expression! ( once again, no eye brows) I recovered in a day or two, but not the nail gun. It was scorched and melted in spots. Some years ago, when I bought the gun, I purchased a life-time warranty. Upon taking it to the nail gun store they told me the life-time guarantee had expired! WHAT?! "But sir," I said, "It's a lifetime warranty. I'm still alive. What's the problem?"
"It's not your life-time the gun is guaranteed for, it's the life of the gun, and clearly the gun is dead. Warranty up."
Well here we go. I presented my case as follows. "What good is a warranty if when the product craters and you need the warranty, the warranty is no longer valid because of the cratering of the product?" It made perfect sense to me. But then the nail gun guy gave me some complicated reason why the guarantee was written the way it was, what the original intent of the company was when it was written and I think I heard the word NASCAR in there somewhere. So after a very long, boring, convoluted, you're never gonna win this argument rebuttal, I came back to my original statement. WHAT?! I even threw in the phrases "catch 22" and "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" I realized when I said them, they didn't pertain all that well to the situation, but it was all I had. It was like trying to completely understand "Back to the Future." Just when you think it makes sense, Doc Brown shows up again to complicate the storyline!
I spoke at a wonderful Disciple Now Weekend a few weeks ago. One of the students who gave her life to Christ on Sunday morning was asking me about her salvation. She was wanting to know more about the forever part. With great confidence I told her that her salvation was a, "beyond this life-time, never ending, forever and ever, throughout eternity, without ceasing, always without end warranty. You can count on this, because you can count on Him. Not only is your salvation written in ink, but it is also in the blood of Jesus. There are NO good guarantees given by this world. Even a true lifetime warranty here is temporary. But He is FOREVER faithful. His promise is everlasting. Blessed ASSURANCE, Jesus is mine! It's a "Beyond Life-time Warranty!" She liked that. I like it too.
I'm still working on the sunroom. Betty walked in last week while I was tiling the floor and asked, "Why did you decide to build this room?"