The garage door opened to blazing sunshine and blasts of hot air. Cicadas sang in crackles and pops. Even Heathcliff and Freya weren’t in any hurry to greet our visitor.
“Thank you SO much for coming,” I said to Danny Kennedy who installed and services our heating and air conditioning systems. It was mid-Saturday, ten days ago. Despite our success in clearing the condensate drain line—though it still smelled musty—the unit would not cool. Keith and I had turned it off the night before and slept with ceiling fans on high and windows open.
“My pleasure, Ma’am,” Mr. Kennedy said as he strapped on his tool belt. “I work seven days a week these days. Lots of folks experiencing interrupted service.”
The weather in the past few weeks has been hot and humid across the country and unsettled here at Vanaprastha. Rain and fog tend to cause satellite Internet and TV interruptions and spotty cell reception during wild thunderstorms.
Keith and I gathered around the garage utility closet. Mr. Kennedy slid the access panel off and set it aside. “We’ve been having flickering outages,” Keith said.
“Lots of them.” Keith flashed me an annoyed look and rolled his eyes. I knew immediately my interruption was a growth opportunity to change a bad habit. I focused on listening.
“As I was saying, the outages have not been enough to kick in the back generator, but I think they might have confused the unit.”
“Could be,” Mr. Kennedy said, “I’ll check everything.” While putting the unit through its paces, he answered our questions and offered maintenance tips. Soon we had cool air again.
One pre-dawn morning last week, I was lying in bed, thinking about starting the workday. Instead, I rolled over, snoozed, and dreamed.
A middle-aged couple—people I knew in my dream but not in real life—dropped in unexpectedly. I can’t say I was happy to be interrupted, though I slapped a “pleased to see you” smile on my face. The wife had long, dark brown hair streaked with grey. Her husband lagged behind. As they neared the glass window in our kitchen door, I looked at their haggard faces and realized they were desperately hungry. I dismissed the interruption with a hand-wave and opened the kitchen door.
Then I woke.
What had seemed like an interruption was really an opportunity to go and serve. God wanted me to strap on my tool belt and walk out that door.
And so I will, with pleasure.