Tuesday, November 15, 2011

thirty thankful days-day 15-the xerox man, my hero

Every day in November I am posting something I'm thankful for, and I would love to have you join me!  Link to your thankful post below, or write about it in the comments.  Let's be thankful together!

So, many of my Facebook friends are posting thankful things each day in November.  Some of them are so deep and meaningful and profound.  They are thankful for God's grace, and their loved ones, and things like laughter and hope.  And I post about online tutorials and bathroom tile.  Deeply moving, I know.  Well, here's another profound theological thankful post.  Today, I am thankful for the xerox man.

Here's the background scoop:

1)  Yesterday I was covering the church office for the whole day alone.
2)  Our copier was broken, so I needed to get the repair happening.
3)  The xerox people called no less than three times, with each time the story being different of who was coming to service our machine and when he might be coming.  The last I had heard at about 12:30 was that "Steve" was coming, probably the next day.
4)  Yet, surprisingly, "Pete" showed up at our door at almost 1:00 in the afternoon.  (right when I was supposed to leave for a meeting of course...whatever).
5)  Not long after Pete went to work on our sad copier, I heard the door chime that someone entered the building.  When I went to see who it was, I found an apparently homeless man sitting in our office lobby.  It is not unusual to have people stop by for help, and our pastor meets with each one to determine the best way to help them.  But I was alone yesterday.

(disclaimer:  In telling this story, I by no means want to disrespect this person who has apparently had some hard knocks and was obviously struggling with all sorts of things...so please take no offense.)

When I asked this man if I could help him--he asked to see a pastor.  I explained that unfortunately neither of our pastors were in today. He asked for a food basket.  I told him where the organization we partner with for food is.  He asked what our church was about anyway?  (implying we should really help people, right? ugh.)  I was able to give him a bottle of water and a bag of trail mix we had in our snack cabinet.  I said goodbye to him, and invited him back tomorrow when a pastor could meet with him.  He just sat there.  He was making me pretty uncomfortable.  I consulted with one of our pastors via text who offered to come--but he was quite a ways away at a conference.  I figured by the time he got to me, the situation would resolve.  He knew I had a meeting off-site that I was supposed to be at, and made the wise suggestion that I tell this man that I needed to leave and lock up the building as soon as the xerox man was done, so he would need to leave.  I go out to tell him, but need to wake him up first.  He had konked out on our couch.  He seemed ok with that idea, but didn't leave.  I start getting even more nervous.  I go back into our office and see that Pete the xerox guy was packed up and ready to go.  Yikes!  Our pastor had told me to leave with the xerox guy!  I looked helplessly at Pete and asked him timidly if he would mind staying until the other guy left.  He said, "Absolutely, I completely understand."  Gotta love the xerox man, right?

So Pete stayed.  He stayed when the homeless man asked to use the bathroom.  He stayed while we waited the 15 minutes or so for the man to finish using the bathroom (apparently he disrobed and washed up).  Pete was with me when our visitor finally left and walked me out as well.  Whew!  Thank you Pete.  I can't imagine how I would have felt if I was alone with this guy!  I felt uncomfortable enough as it was.  He probably was harmless, but he sure didn't seem "with it", so who know how irrationally he could behave.  I think xerox-Pete was there a good half-hour longer than he had to be.  Might have thrown off his whole schedule, I don't know.  He was a God-send.  And not just cause he fixed our copier!  I plan to commend him to his supervisors today, if I can figure out how.

So, today, I'm thankful for Pete the xerox guy, who went above and beyond yesterday.  And I'm thankful to God for the way he protects and comforts me in unexpected ways.

What are you thankful for today?  Link up or comment!  Let's fill up blogland with thankfulness!

A few simple instructions for the link up:
-please link to your specific thankful post--not just your blog
-please link back to theGoodlife in your post so others can join the fun!
-feel free to grab the 30 thankful days graphic--I haven't figured out how to make it a button yet.  I'm such a techy, huh?


Kariss said...

I grew up in Dallas at a big megachurch where homeless people walked in often. It is so hard to determine what to do and how to help and how to remain wise in the midst of the situation. You handled it well!

Special K said...

I think Pete was sent to help you out - in more ways than one!
I tried to link, but couldn't. But I'm thankful anyway! :)

LeAnn ~ My Day In The Making said...

I have to tell you,my heart began pounding as I was reading that. So glad for Peter! Have you read Same Kind of Difference as Me? Good book; reminds me of this man.

Chris said...

Soooooo thankful to the Lord for sending Pete!! Here's my suggestion...when one of the ladies on staff are alone in the office, the door should be locked, and we should have a doorbell installed. Then if someone needs to get into the building, he/she would have to be let in ONLY after the staff felt comfortable w/ them being in the building.

dawn said...

That's pretty close to where we landed, no more unlocked doors when we are there by ourselves. It is no longer up to us and what we feel comfortable with...it's policy. Katie already did it that way...I should have to.

jennibell said...

What a good story to remember. If you didn't write it down, would this angel, specifically sent for you, be remembered? I hope you were able to get hold of his supervisor and if you did I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they didn't send Pete. . .Steve was the one they sent -- ha!

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