And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:8-15 (NIV)
The soldering and pipe fitting did not go as expected. At 1:30 AM, husband was still struggling with getting the pipes together, the boys were drifting off and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. There was much cursing coming from the kitchen where the hot water heater is located. Then, youngest son noticed that the pipes were leaking water. This morning, husband made another trip to Lowe’s and chose a different fitting. This time, the pipe went right together. But not without some regret for not having bought that particular fitting the night before. It’s not like he wasn’t warned. When we were in the hot water heater department which was in the far back corner of the store, it was deserted. After all, everyone was shopped out on Black Friday. Then, this man appeared out of nowhere. He was bald, short and round, and it was a little creepy about how he approached us. He was not a store employee, but with a wide grin said, “You’re getting a hot water heater. Come let me show you how I’ve been installing them.” Then, he led us to another aisle and showed us some connectors called, “Shark Bites.” He continued, “You’ll get it installed in no time with these. No soldering required. Just slip them on and you’re done.” I could see husband’s skepticism. Who was this guy offering unsolicited advice? And how did he know for sure we were getting a water heater? We didn’t even have it loaded on a cart. As soon as the man left, husband went back to looking at copper fittings and solder. When I asked him if he didn’t think he should take the man’s advice, he snapped at me and said, “I’m going to use solder.” It was not spoken, but kind of implied, “Like my father did and his father before him.” So, I shut up. But, I kept thinking about that man this morning after all the trouble we had last night and after husband returned from his second trip to the store with a “shark bite” and got the water heater fixed in just a few minutes. I didn’t want to rub it in, but couldn’t help saying, kindly, “You know I am not saying that you made a mistake. After all, you didn’t know for sure that that fitting was the right thing never having used one. But, don’t you think it was weird that he came out of nowhere and told you about them? He didn’t even have a shopping cart.” Husband said, “Yeah, I’ve been thinking it was divine.” My thoughts exactly. How many times in life do we pray and strive for word from God? And when it comes, we reject it because it didn’t arrive in the way or in the meaning we were looking for? I am so glad that God sent the shepherds a heavenly host. If they had encountered a small, fat man with no hair, they might not have listened!