It was a typical Indiana spring day.
Outside the house,
it was raining. Inside the
house, it was raining.
Water slowly dripped from the ceiling,
reminding me that when you replace your own roof,
there's nobody to get mad at when it leaks.
I should be a pretty good roofer,
I spent two summers
roofing when I was in college.
Of course that was in West Texas, where rainfall averaged
16.5 ounces a year (prior to last year's drought). Could
it be that I was a really bad roofer all along and just never
had my work tested?
I opened the closet, took out my
wife's green raincoat and my Indiana Jones hat, and headed
outside. I stood under the edge of the garage, looking sternly
up at the spot where the leak was, hoping that if I stared
at it long enough and hard enough it would stop. It
Out came the ladder, and up I went.
I began squirting
sticky black roofing cement into
the roof valley, pressing it into place with my finger.
As I worked, the rain continued to fall. Eventually,
a perfect rain channel
formed down the back of my coat,
funneling all the
water that hit my back directly
down into the back of my
And then it happened. As I
stood there in the rain, I heard the bells at the nearby retirement
home begin to chime. And as the notes played, the words
to a great old hymn came into my mind: "When upon
life's billows you are tempest tossed..."
I began to smile as the song continued:
"When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost..."
"Here it comes," I thought.
The bells sang, "Count yourmany blessings, name them one by
one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
I stood on the roof, soaking wet,
my hands covered with tar, grinning and singing, "Count your
blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings
see what God has done."
And so I did:
It was 75 degrees outside instead
I had some extra roof cement in
The water could have leaked one
foot away, onto the
I did actually have an hour of
unscheduled time available (softball practice was rained out).
All in all, as roof leaks go, it
was a pretty painless one.
And the bells reminded me of that.
You may read this and say, "Well,
Mark's just one of those saccharine-sweet smilers, a guy
who always sees the glass as 'half-full'." Wrong.
My glass is completely full, and
runs over every single day with blessings. And while
there are days that I'm too pig-headed or self-centered to
see it, most days I am amazed at what I have. And even
though I don't know you, my guess is that your days are mostly pretty
"Count your blessings, name
them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord