Things happen to me that simply don’t happen to “normal” people. So much so in fact, that my family has long ago come to call these events “Dave-ism’s”.
It was in the Spring of 2010 in Prattville, AL and I was helping my 23 year old son Jason move into his first apartment. Jason was in the Air Force and had elected to move off base into his own place. As usually happens in such events, he got “donations” of furniture from several of his buddies, but the big deal was that one of his Sergeants insisted that he take a 55 inch TV that was sitting in his garage and was just simply always in the way.
We started the day by arriving at the apartment complex in a rented truck and began unloading it and carrying his belongings up to his apartment on the second floor. In a very short time, a young man on the first floor came out and immediately began to help us.
His name was “JR” and he had also just moved to the area to be a counselor at a nearby Christian camp for young men. With his help, we finished quickly and Jason and I left to pick up the big screen TV. But when we got back with this rather large bulky TV, we quickly realized that it was never going up the stairs due to the design of the banisters and rails. It just was not going to fit, regardless of how we twisted or turned it. So, we came up with Plan B, which was “Give it to JR, he lives on the first floor”.
Jason went to knock on JR’s door while I was wheeling this monstrosity down the hall, and we’ll pick up the conversation at that point:
Jason: JR, thanks for your help today. By any chance could you use a big screen TV?
JR: (as he is physically turning pale) Excuse me?
Dave: (arriving with the TV) Yeah, there is no way this is going up the stairs, so if you’d like a 55 inch TV, it’s yours.
JR: (raises his hands) Thank you Father! Thank you so much. And I am so ashamed of how I just acted!
Dave: (stating the obvious) Man, I bet there is a story here!
JR: (shaking) There sure is, please come in.
So, it turns out that his parents had just left and were on the road driving back to Georgia. But while they were there, apparently his apartment did not pass the “Mama inspection”. She told him something to the effect that he “wasn’t living in the dorm anymore” and when was he going to get rid of the milk crates, the torn upholstery, and the portable TV? “You’ve got a good job, spend some money, get a bigger TV”. It was some not so subtle criticism which was not received very well.
In fact, JR’s response was to get up in his mama’s face and tell her (and I’m quoting here) “Well mama, I guess if God wants me to have a big screen TV, he’ll send me one – won’t he?” And Jason and I arrived approximately 10 minutes later!
The final dialogue went like this:
JR: I’ve got to call Mama. She is never going to believe this. Never!
Dave: Well, tell Mama that God says “The TV would have been there sooner if my two helpers had figured out how to get it out from between the banisters and back down the stairs quicker.”
And with that, Jason and I left him to talk with his Mama. Outside in the parking lot Jason asked me “Dad, did we just do God’s work?” And I told him “Jase, I believe we do God’s work everyday, but I’m absolutely positive we rarely get to see it in action like we just did.”
It is something that Jase and I will remember all our lives and frequently talk about when we’re together. It remains one of the most extraordinary events of my life.