The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 19, 2013

Just ask God to glue it all back together again

By Bev Davis

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published May 1, 2010.

It’s been one of those weeks when life seems to come totally unglued. I came back from a week off with my own little agenda solidly in mind.

By 10 a.m. Monday, all those plans were shoved to the back burner as some unexpected projects came my way.

They were all things I enjoy doing, and fortunately, working here almost 26 years has taught me to be flexible. Probably the first real “spiritual” insight I had about working with all of the demands and deadlines journalists face is this: The sun will go down today and come up tomorrow, regardless of how things go for me today. Somehow, some way, things get done. Deadlines are met, and the unexpected falls into place.

However, when I hadn’t been able to get to any of the things I had planned to do by Wednesday, panic struck. I felt as though 5,000 pieces of a puzzle had been scattered all over the floor, and I had to put them all back together.

God’s timing is perfect. As I settled into my quiet time that morning, I read a story about a children’s pastor who had worked with about 60 children for several weeks preparing for a musical drama they would perform for the congregation guests for a special occasion. The pastor had a major speaking part but had not practiced a lot. He had planned to devote the day of the performance to reviewing his lines so everything would be fresh in his mind that evening when the curtain rose.

The morning of the performance date the pastor awakened to an uncertain sound. Upon investigation, he found a pipe spewing out a good-sized stream of water into the basement, which now had several inches of water on the floor. The pump was not working, so he would have to bail out the basement.

When he went back up to tell his wife he needed to turn off the water, he found that she and their 4-year-old son had come down with a stomach virus. “Not a good day to have to turn off the water,” he thought.

Thankfully, the pastor found a way to cut off the water supply to the leak without disabling the plumbing for the whole house. He bailed a while, made several trips to the hardware store and invested much of the day in fixing the leak.

Between the plumbing chores, he had to take an older child to school and pick her up in the afternoon. He had to make a run to the drug store to get over-the-counter products to bring some relief for his wife and son.

By the time he found himself backstage ready to take the leading role, the young pastor was frazzled. He hadn’t had time to go over his lines, and he had been so distracted all day he’d given little thought to the performance.

The senior pastor noticed his dismay and asked what was wrong.

“My whole life has just come unglued today. I’m just not ready to do this tonight,” the young pastor lamented.

Before the senior pastor could offer some sage advice, an 8-year-old child tugged on the pastor’s jacket, looked up at him with a set of bright blue eyes and said. “Don’t worry, Pastor Rick. Just ask God to glue everything back together again.”

Her childlike faith and a simple prayer saved the day.

I took the story to heart, asked the Lord to “glue everything back together for me” and expected Him to come through. By Friday, 5,000 pieces of a complex puzzle had come together, and I had enough time left over to accomplish the agendas I had temporarily abandoned.

Why is it we grown-ups always talk about the power of faith and prayer in the grand scheme of things but so quickly forget how well they work in the day-to-day crises of life?