I had a story in mind for this week about being a “do’er” and all this coverage of the Pope has just solidified the message – that we are here to serve, to accomplish something, to “DO” something! I come from a family of do’ers, as you know, so it was in my blood from the time I was young that I was expected to produce things that were of value to others rather than just sit around and do nothing. My parents, who are 80 (Dad’s birthday is this week) and 75, are the hardest workers I have ever seen.
When our new church needed tile laid, mom and dad are the ones there doing it. Dad had just had shoulder surgery, so he only had one arm, and he would not stay home and let others help – he had to be there with his one arm. When the trim and baseboards came and none of the men had stepped up to install it, guess who does that also? Patty Vannest. Dad was once again laid up with a bad leg and couldn’t bend too much, but I think he helped with what he could.
Just last month, I had gone to the beach early before our family vacation to take care of some work things and I get this text from Tom that says, “I am sitting here on the tractor and I thought I should let you know that I have your mother up in the bucket picking apples. I knew you would kill me if I killed your mother while she’s up in the bucket and I’m sitting on my rear end, but she wouldn’t let me pick – said I wouldn’t know how. I’m trying not to hurt her, but she keeps motioning for me to take the bucket up higher and higher and she’s reaching out over the bucket for these apples to the point I’m a nervous wreck. So I thought I would apologize in advance if I hurt your mother.” I’m like, “What? Why didn’t you make her do the tractor part?” He’s like, “Well, I didn’t think she knew how to do that, and she didn’t think I knew how to pick, so we’re at a stalemate. I’m sure it will be alright.” Well, it was, and I’m not sure whether that text message to me was meant to be an advance confession or what….
Then the whole family arrives at the beach and our guest cottage had this odor in it. I had been there for a couple weeks earlier and it would have a sewer type smell that would come and go. We had had a repairman in three times over the summer to fix the issue, and they had replaced toilet seals, done a few other things looking at piping and drains, and couldn’t figure it out. Having Rob, the maintenance man, and Mom and Dad, the ultimate fixers, with us, we stewed over this smell all week. One time it would smell like sewer, the next it would be like mold or musty smelling. We’re sniffing the shower drains, the sinks, the commodes. It was an endless and tiring conversation, and I was fretting over it, worrying whatever it was would make Ken sick or someone sick or the next guest would smell it and have a complaint. So the last day we’re there, the wind begins to blow really strong and Mom swears she can smell the smell coming from the light switch plates. So she thinks we need to get in the attic and see if there’s a vent unplugged somehow. To get into the attic, you have to get on a stepladder and hoist yourself up into a small hole in one of the closets. The night this all goes down, Tom and I and Kim and Ken had gone to the Jersey Boys concert for a date night, and Mom decides she’s going up into the attic.
Rob (the 32-year-old maintenance man) is holding the ladder. Is this a familiar picture? We say to Rob, “What in the world? Why didn’t you go up?” He’s like, “She was insistent – she barely let me hold the ladder! Then once she went in, I went in also because I sure wasn’t going to stay down there just watching her up in the attic!” They didn’t find anything and everyone got back down just fine.
I say all this to say: The Pope’s message (from what little I have heard) seems to be that we should all serve, and he seems to be saying, “Don’t worship me, don’t come and see me, but go out into your communities and serve.” What more is there to say? If we are truly Christians, believe in Jesus Christ and His message, we need to be do’ers. I have vowed to stop those thoughts of “Why can’t someone else do it?” We all know in every church, 10 percent of the people do all the work. Why is that? Because that call from the Lord has reached from their heart to their feet, and they know God has work for them to do. Let’s get busy and get in those attics and those trees and see who we can serve…..
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.