“No, I can’t do that; I’ve never done it before,” my thoughts screamed. My older brother knows how to do ‘stuff’ with electricity; I’ll wait until he comes to visit. And so it went, the favorite floor lamp beside my ninety-six year old mother’s recliner stayed unlit for over a month. Yes, you guessed it, her favorite pastime now is not TV, it’s not working puzzles–it’s reading.
She mentioned one day, “My floor lamp needs a new light bulb.”
Easy enough–I bought one, replaced the old bulb, we turned the switch and nothing happened. Was the lamp plugged in? Yes. By then I realized a fifty-year-old lamp might need to be rewired. Again, I reminded myself, “I’m not good at stuff like that; I’ve never done it before.”
Days went by, I pushed the lamp to the back of my mind. My gracious mother commented when I would mention it, “Oh, I just use the overhead light plus the lamp on my nearby phone table.” Did I tell you that I searched used furniture stores and estate sales on two different weeks trying to replace Mom’s round-tabled floor lamp?
As you might, one day I met my own time limit. “I’m not going to find a replacement lamp; my brother’s schedule is not going to allow him to be my scapegoat; this can’t be as difficult as I’m making it.” Off to Home Depot I drove.
Upon entering the store, I tried to sound knowledgeable at Customer Service , “Please direct me to the kits for rewiring lamps.” You’re right, I had no idea if such a thing existed. At the very end of the light fixture aisle, there it was–only one type–and less than $10.00. The sales’ clerk assured me– as he pointed to the page of instructions and a complete schematic drawing–that anyone could rewire a lamp. Still not convinced, I returned home with the bright idea that a person can find how to do almost anything on You Tube.
You are right. There it was–a kind man demonstrating every step while rewiring an actual lamp. I think I wanted to believe him more because of the shelves and shelves of lamps in the background. The exact procedure at Mom’s apartment is a story for another time–you can see them for yourself on You Tube; they are just a click away.
Mother and I both cheered when we screwed in the bulb and light shined.
What a lesson for me! Here I am a more than mature adult; I nearly talked myself out of meeting a need just because, ‘I’d never done it before.’ Wonder who in my circle of acquaintances is feeling ‘burned out?’ Wonder whose spirits need the rewiring that a few Bible verses could help? Who could use encouragement from God–so their light could ‘shine’ again?
Dear Lord, Help each of us do for You what we think we can’t–just because we have never done it before. Help us to listen, then share simple steps, like the man demonstrated rewiring the lamp on You Tube, to help another’s life benefit You. Amen
“I send them to you…so they may turn from darkness to light…to God.” Acts 26: 18 CSB