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I Decided to do the Surgery

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

Your home, like ours, is probably full of machines, gadgets, motors, perhaps a Wi-Fi

router and a smart TV, all designed to make our lives easier. They provide entertainment or perform a function important to our quality of life. But what happens when one of them breaks down? Many of us Americans are used to throwing things away and getting new ones when they fail, that is, if we can afford it. If it’s really important, like a water heater, we’ll get that thing fixed or replaced, even if the cost is all going on a credit card, right?

Sometimes we don’t notice something is amiss until. . . . Yes, until there’s water running across the floor, or things come out of the dishwasher looking dirty! Ugh, here we go again. At that point, we have to decide, “How much do I dare try to repair this thing before I call a professional?” About a week ago, when I went into the furnace room it became one of those “Ugh!” moments. There was a shallow puddle of water covering one third of the floor. And it had a salty stain around the edges of the puddle. The culprit - our water softener.

I installed that softener 18 years ago. It has worked flawlessly ever since, except for the one time it didn’t, maybe ten years ago. When I called the manufacturer’s customer service line, they identified the faulty part, a little nylon gear that I could easily see and replace myself. Soon the gear arrived and it was working again! It was simple to repair.

But this time, the problem was not simple. I won’t go into all the details. But now something was wrong “inside.” I read the manual, and called their help-line three or four times. I cleaned things, and checked other things, but after three days performing “small” surgeries, maybe five or six hours of work made no difference. I was ready to give up. At this point the help-line person said “You know, it’s been reliable for 18 years. But even if you buy some new parts, the softener may not work, and it would be a waste of money.”

I was just about ready to do that, but then, I thought, what have I got to lose? I studied the book some more. Then I went in deeper. I did some invasive surgery on the machine. I applied some “Ultra Black” gasket maker in a couple places and lubricated a piston thing with silicone grease. Then, I waited. The Ultra Black stuff needed 24 hours to fully cure. I gave it 48 hours. Then I opened the water line and waited for disappointment. But everything seems to be working right! No leaking, no sputtering. What a relief. But here’s the real scoop. I still don’t know if it will last 24 hours. Tomorrow it may just start leaking again. I just don’t like sending things to a landfill if it can be redeemed. Was it worth it? I may fail even when I try my best. But I don’t regret the effort.

I really enjoy knowing that our good Lord has taken the same approach to me and my flaws, my faults, my broken down life. He has spent much effort to provide a powerful Savior/surgeon who has been poking around in my life for years. He has agonized over the task for both you and me. He didn’t give up. He rescued, redeemed, brought me back from the brink. I hope you and I can have that attitude toward other people who seem broken down, depressed, nasty, or abusive. Down inside them there is probably a little boy or girl who is hurting. Maybe you or I can assist in some surgery with the tools of love, and then our Lord will bring about an eternal repair for someone.

Copyright 2020 - Stanley Hagemeyer

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