Our roof is leaking. We’ve not been here a year and the list of broken and breaking things in our new house is endless. (#moneypit) Ted called our warranty company today, they sent us a bunch of roofing companies, and we picked the first that could make it out.
The roofer shows up, a woman who is four months pregnant (she told me). She walks in, Griffin is on one of my hips, we’re both covered in spit up. Gus is on the couch crying because I’ve told him to get off the iPad. It’s his first big boy day without a nap (Lord Jesus on high, sustain us all). I start hyperventilating about this sweet pregnant woman climbing three stories on a ladder to be on my roof. What if she falls and it’s just minor condensation?
Roof Woman says “You’re a writer.” More statement than question. “I wanted to be a writer.”
I can hardly hold onto my squirmy Griffin and the three-nager is full of sour attitude. How does she know I’m a writer? I mumble something about memoir and she nods like she knows and says, “Yeah, me, too!” I stare, too startled at being known as something other than the mom who took a long time to answer the doorbell to engage in actual adult banter. She hoists her ladder up and goes to look for a way onto my leaky roof. I offer her water and just figure Ted mentioned something about me being out writing this morning, and told Roof Woman something like “I don’t know if my roof is worth the risk of you climbing up there pregnant.” She just kind of shrugs and does her thing while Gus is frantically running for his toolbox and miniature ladder that fell off his fire truck because he wants to call Paw Patrol to come help “us” climb onto the roof.
It turns out Ashley the Roof Expert couldn’t get up to my roof, and has to come back tomorrow. I offer her more water and a place to sit down (she declines both) and I make sure she has my cellphone, and she leaves.
Fast forward through a few hectic hours of dinner and bedtime. Ted and I are sitting on the couch replaying our days. I ask him what he said to Ashley the Roofer about my writing and he says “Nothing.” I tell him our interaction and he says, “Did she see your new magnetic wall?” I say “no, there’s nothing up there about my book yet.” He goes, “maybe she googled you.” Stunned silence. What could she have possibly found? Ted googles me. The video from Hope Gathering at Calvary Baptist Church comes up and he hits play. That really raw talk comes on, the one that begins with Carrie’s introduction (and one of my most favorite compliments). Then I share: “I’ve not written this talk because I hate talking about my sexual abuse. I’d hate it if you google my name and this talk comes up.”
Ted and I laughed so hard we cried. Neither of us have the talent for that that comedic timing.
Who is this God we follow that weaves redemption and mystery and humor from boldness and hunger and pain, from meager efforts to serve the women of NYC and a video I didn’t want posted online but probably had a hand in posting myself? What is He planning with this leaky roof of mine in a state (TX) I was loathe to visit and now begrudgingly am trying to make a home in? Has He enlisted me — without my knowledge — to a team that will lower a wounded (and yet unknown) friend through a (leaky) roof to His feet? Or is Roof Expert Ashley here to redeem some part of my own journey?
Whatever happens with Roof Mama, who is returning tomorrow with a taller ladder and an associate to help her, I’m grateful for the Lord using my story of weakness, redemption, and pain. The meager fish and loaves I offered him, the ones that took the form of Hope Gathering, this blog, and my bravery to write plainly, has been multiplying in ways I never could have anticipated.
I’ve been a sincere believer, doubter and follower of Christ for eighteen years. There are still some days I look up to the heavens in awe and wonder at who it is I believe in and follow.
My dear Jesus, I thank God that you know what you’re doing because I have no idea what you’re up to. I’m grateful to be on this road with you, even if I hate not knowing or having control over where it goes. Thank you for being bigger than I believe you are, kinder than I can imagine, and funnier than anyone really has a right to be. xoxo