The Mower

by Rhonda, July 27, 2022

Our yard needs to be mowed.  Being on vacation for a week was wonderful, but we returned to a bit of a jungle for a yard.  We live on several acres, so my son's weekly job is to mow our acreage with our riding mower.  

Today was the first day without rain, so the time was here to finally tackle the yard.  He started up the John Deere mower around 10:00 this morning, and within thirty minutes, he came back inside.  The grass was so tall that he needed to put another attachment onto the mower to pick up the cut grass off the yard.  Otherwise, it was collecting under the mower, causing the mower to slow down and struggle.

The attachment was in Grandpa's shed.

Now, I should forewarn you that Grandpa's shed is a collection of all interesting artifacts he's collected over the years.  He pulls things out of various places that he finds valuable.  One man's trash is well, Grandpa's treasure.  The only problem was the mower attachment to pick up the grass was in the back of Grandpa's shed.

Alex sighed.  "This is going to be terrible getting it out of there."

His sister offered to help him, much to his relief.  They managed to rearrange things and spent the next twenty minutes or so retrieving the attachment from the back of Grandpa's junk collection.  Normally, Grandpa would have helped with this particular project, but he is visiting my brother, so he's out of town.

As Alex brought the attachment out of the shed, he must have dropped the connecting bolt somewhere in the yard.  After looking for it, he came inside and threw himself onto the couch, defeated.

"I can't find the bolt.  Leeza and I have both looked."

"Grandpa has a magnet in the shed," I said.  "Give it a try in the areas you think you dropped it."

Twenty minutes later, Alex threw himself onto the couch again.  "The magnet didn't work.  I'm going to go through his toolbox to see if I can find another bolt."

As I returned to my office to work, I received a text about twenty minutes later from Alex.  "I found a replacement bolt.  I am going to start mowing again."

I congratulated him and watched him make a few passes through the yard with the grass catcher on the back.  It all seemed to be working fine.  But, then, I heard the mower shut off.  I stepped outside, but I didn't see Alex.  As I walked around the yard, I found him, on his knees praying behind the back fence.

"You okay?" I asked.

"The mower stopped working."

I walked over to the mower.  Sure enough, it would start but it wouldn't go forwards or backwards.  I popped the hood to check the fuel filter, but it looked fairly clean.  That was the end of my knowledge of mowers, so I put the hood back down. 

"I'm sorry.  Do you want to come inside?"

"No.  I need to empty this catcher.  I was just praying for some help is all."

I wished I had more mechanical knowledge.  Situations like these are so hard, especially for a teenage boy who just needs some help.  It was out of my league, so I thought about how to call a lawnmower repair service as I walked back inside.  

I picked up my phone once I got back to my office.  I had a missed call and a voicemail.  I pushed play.  It was from my other brother. 

"This is the sibling lawnmower service.  I hear you have a broken down mower and wondered if you want me to take a look.  Call me back."

I called him back.  "How did you know?"

"Alex texted Grandpa.  Grandpa called me.  I'm home today so I can come over if you want."  

"Alex," I said as I ran into the back yard.  "Help is on the way.  Your uncle is coming over."

Alex broke into a large smile.  "Okay!"

My brother and nephew showed up about twenty minutes later.  We had high hopes they would fix the mower, but they couldn't figure out the problem.  Regardless, they helped Alex push it back into the garage and they helped him put the attachment back into Grandpa's shed (a monumental task).  It was a big encouragement to have help come along, and their humor was welcomed by Alex after a long, hard day.

Sometimes we just have days where nothing goes right.  No matter how hard we try, things seems to fall apart.

But, being willing to be an encouragement to others, even when we can't fix the problem, is pleasing to God.  My brother didn't have to come over to push a big mower around in the heat.  Truth be told, he probably doesn't know a lot more about mowers than I do.  But, he knew Alex was struggling, so he showed up.

Luke 6:38  Give, and you will receive.  Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over.  

Sometimes, all God asks us to do is show up and do what we can.  He will do the rest.

Today, I'm thankful for my brother with the big heart.

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