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Drenched…with Joy?

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Drenched … with Joy?

Yesterday it snowed for the first time this winter season. Yep. We go from summer to winter without a whole lot in between. Thankfully, the snow melted when it was 6 or so inches from the ground so nothing stuck. It’s just a matter of time. We live at 8300 ft. adjacent to the Uintah National Forest in the desert state of Utah. Seasons here are (more or less) 5 months of winter, 4 months of mud and 3 months of exquisite spr’/’ummer/’all. As a native of the Prairie State of Illinois, I’m still not used to this.

Another issue we face in our mountain home is that for the past year, every time it rains or snows, we get water dripping into our family room. Above the family room is a deck with a trough that is supposed to shuttle water (or as they call it out here “moisture”) to the gutter and down to the ground. To mitigate all the problems with your house, you can see this here and find the most quality and professional home repair services.

Something has gone wrong.

Our past efforts (changing the pitch of the deck/rerouting the gutters/adding extra waterproofing to the deck surface) have failed. People can check out the best roofing services in Spearfish, SD, for waterproof roofing systems. This means that in our family room we have a bright yellow bucket surrounded by towels propped up like a permanent fixture along with the comfy chairs and a good snooze-able couch. That bucket throws off the entire fung shui of the place.

Today is the first day of our late$t attempt at fixing this problem for good. We squeal when we think about the cost, especially after all the previous fixes. The plan is to take out the trough; repair any previously hidden gaps underneath it; waterproof the interstices; fill the gap with a seamless, waterproof pipe; re-cement the deck floor with waterproofed concrete; slather a waterproof coating on top of all that, and make sure the edges nudge the water down and out.

The contractor just removed the trough. What lurked below? Rotten, wet wood with gaping holes. No wonder we had problems. We hope we have enough sunny days for the wood to dry so that our various new layers of waterproofing will adhere as they should. The fundamentals of our infrastructure need debriding, healing, filling with healthy materials, stabilizing and appropriate protection from adverse elements that we hadn’t known about before.

This obviously has spiritual counterparts. Are there gaps in our spiritual underpinnings that were based on weak, incomplete or flawed substrata? Have we tried a variety of measures to poke around at lasting solutions that turn out to be just temporary fixes? Have we gotten to the root – the rotten wood and gaping holes – of our spiritual conundrums?

Is it a “crisis”? Is it a “broken shelf” or some other kind of holey or failed infrastructure when these things happen? If I “doubt” that the deck/roof/ceiling system is functioning well because water’s dripping where it  shouldn’t, is that “doubt” a bad thing or an important guide for better understanding? Could the rainwater damaging our spiritual family rooms actually be a good  thing? Could it be the result or a symptom of something that needs our attention and thorough inspection? Have we hired the only Contractor who can get the job done correctly?

In his book “God in the Dock”, the author C.S. Lewis’s essay “Man or Rabbit?” recognizes not only the need of rigorous spiritual examination but the benefits that come from it. He uses “rabbit” for the creature who tries so hard to “be good”, “do good”, and scrupulously follow the Instruction Manual or owner’s guide. All of our previous efforts to fix our dripping problem (literal or spiritual) feel like rabbit efforts. Now we have explored enough to discover the hidden rot and gaps underneath that the “owners guide” never cautioned us about and possibly never anticipated. Now (hopefully) we have a thorough plan based on the actual details of the situation. Either way, our quest for “further light and knowledge” (about our deck’s damp problems and in our spiritual lives), is a holy path. Here is Lewis’s description (made more female-friendly for my purposes) of both the process and the resolution:

“We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of fur come out; and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real [hu]man, an ageless god, a [child] of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.”

About Linda Hoffman Kimball

Linda Hoffman Kimball is an artist, writer, photographer, and poet who grew up as a faithful Christian near Chicago, & joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1971 while at Wellesley College near Boston. Early on she assumed that all Latter-day Saints were articulate, inquisitive, faithful, and socially engaged since her role models in the University wards in Cambridge, MA., were. Her husband says she is “fluent, but not native” in Mormon-ese. She is a founding member of Mormon Women for Ethical Government.

4 thoughts on “Drenched…with Joy?”

  1. Thank you, Linda, for this perfect visual and the reminder to dig deep and honestly. I woke up sad but your post brought me back to the ever present joy of my redemption.

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  2. Great imagery to underscore an important part of our spiritual lives. And now, I'm off to fine/bookmark C.S. Lewis' essay! Thanks. 🙂

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  3. Lovely piece and metaphor, but when I got to the last line in the C.S. Lewis quote and it was “drenched”, I had to laugh for joy. How satisfying to tie it all up with the perfect word.

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