God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.
I have a neighbor and friend named Carrie who has a total of 5 kids, the youngest of which is severely disabled and spends his days in a wheelchair. She is a single, homeschooling mom. We live in Washington state and her oldest son left a few months ago to live with his dad in California, so now she has 4 she cares for in her brood.
Carrie is a casualty of her husband’s affair with a patient while finishing up medical school. In fact, she was pregnant with her youngest child when she found out her husband was having an affair. He has been living with his “girlfriend” since then, and recently married her.
Carrie and her five kids were living with her parents here in Washington for a few years, then with the help of some government grants and the modest child support she receives, she bought a new house on my street. We bought about the same time and when we moved in, the cul-de-sac wasn’t completed; oddly her house was built by itself at the center of the cul-de-sac across from me, and there was a vast stretch of raw land around us.
The street has been complete with houses for about a year and a half now, and as everyone moved in, they asked the builder to finish their backyards with lawn, and the builder complied. Carrie, on the other hand, felt bad about asking the builder to finish her backyard since she’d had to jump through a lot of hoops with them to get the grants, etc., to purchase the house. However, she has perhaps the largest backyard in the neighborhood, with a significant slope at the back. This has been the second summer where she has looked out at dirt, rocks and a proliferation of brush and weeds. We have been talking about getting her backyard done, but the prospect seemed overwhelming, especially given her small budget.
A few weeks ago, as fall begins to approach, we decided to try to get it done, and get a lawn in before winter. After talking to a number of landscaping people who shook their heads after hearing about her small budget, we knew we’d have to take another tack. The yard needs a backhoe to get the brush and rocks cleared out, a couple of terraces cut in, and two retaining walls built. We decided to move forward in faith and ask friends and neighbors to help.
Carrie feels very uncomfortable about asking people to help her, so I became the project manager. This is not to say that I have any idea what I’m doing. But God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. So, we first rented a backhoe, which is to be delivered this Saturday. We began to pray for someone to operate it. I then made up fliers and knocked on every door on our street and handed them out to everyone I talked to, and taped them to the doors of those who weren’t home. I was amazed at how many people, many of whom I didn’t know, said they would be there to help. This is particularly amazing since we’re doing this on Labor Day weekend–a weekend most people spend playing in sun.
Now, as the day for the project nears, God is amazing us with His answers to prayer:
– I just happened to meet the vice president of the homeowners association the other day, and I told him about what we were doing. He called last night to say he’d talked to some other people in the neighborhood who wanted to help, and he was putting an announcement in a letter he was sending out to the homeowners. He also told us about a place that delivers topsoil dirt cheap. We were astounded at the price. Furthermore, he said he’d met someone in the neighborhood who is a carpenter, and when he heard that Carrie has a child in a wheelchair, he knew she’d need a ramp for him up to the front door, and he’s interested in building it for her.
This is a need Carrie and I discussed between ourselves months ago, and no one else knew about it–except God!!!
– Carrie is an elder at her church, and some of her friends are planning to come and help. While talking with one of them who called me to say “they’re in,” she happened to tell me that her husband has used backhoes many times, so he is now the one who will run the backhoe. Praise God!
-People who have pickups are bringing them so that we can load yard debris in them to be taken to the dump. People are coming with their wheelbarrows, shovels and rakes.
It is clearly God at work. I have no idea how this is going to turn out; whether we’ll have so many people that we end up tripping over each other, or so few that we’re half dead by the end of the project. But what I’ve learned through this process is that God wanted to teach us how to move forward in faith. That’s why no landscaper came forward. He wanted us to trust Him and watch as His hand moves to help us accomplish this task. And what a thrill it is to see God in action!
Carrie told me last night that everyone she’s talked to is really excited about coming and helping. Who knew? People are out there wanting to be of service, but not knowing how…or where.
I’ll write another blog after the project, and let you know how it went.