Please just look at this thing.
It is a little box, 7 inches wide by 9 inches tall.
I had no idea that something this small could make such an enormous difference.
It has changed my life.
I’ve been cold before, but I’ve never stayed cold for a week. After a while, your body registers the sensation as a vague pain. Contrary to what you might imagine, even numbness can be strangely painful.
I felt it most in my hands, so it made doing everything harder. The shelves I attempted to paint one night definitely have a “distressed” look that was unintentional. Oh well. They go with the rest of the cottage.
I was surprised that it even hurt to breathe sometimes. Cold air invading the sensitive nostrils stung like noxious fumes. Those were the times that it was best to just give in and curl up in a ball in a blanket cave.
Although the electrician strongly advised against it, I broke down and bought the above item on Day 7. If I perish, I perish. At least I’ll be warm.
I woke up in heaven. No sharp, biting intake of air with the first breath of morning. Just luxurious warmth. It felt good to wake up, instead of like a punishment. I almost broke out into “Zippy-dee-doo-dah.”
But I was chastened in my quiet time.
Oh, what a spoiled brat I am. Forgive me for viewing gifts as rights.
Inevitably, my thoughts turned to my former neighbors, the Bench People.
I wanted to rush back out to Rite-Aid and buy about a hundred of these little miracle machines and hand them out on Westwood Drive.
But the recipients wouldn’t have any place to plug them in.
It is stunning to me that such a small, cheap, insignificant thing could make such a world of difference.
It made me think about a couple of times when people have told me that some small gesture of mine had made a huge difference in their lives. In one case, even the difference between life and death.
I had hesitated in making the gesture, thinking I had too little to give. Not wanting to give ‘just an onion,’ as Dostoyevsky said, thinking an apple might be preferred.
A $19 space heater warmed up the whole house:
A subtle reminder that something simple, small, and paltry…not costly to me…might fill an empty space in someone’s heart with the warmth of God’s love.
Good News Update: This was started several days ago. Since then, the Gas Co. has come, the heat is on (although not without other challenges), and we are feeling much more sane. The painting is finally finished, and Katherine, Jay, and James have spent the night in their new home. Alleluia! (Hallejuah! in Southern-Speak.) Thanks for all the support through yet another transition. Katherine and Jay have the most wonderful friends in the whole world. There is no way we can ever, ever repay. We love you!!!