The Bible states that “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13 It’s true, of course. Our spirits are so easily broken when our hearts are sad. It’s easy to be sad at heart, especially in the world we live in today. Modern conveniences and mass communication can be wonderful but they also often lead to us feeling sorrowful. But, so much more often than not, I have a joyful heart. In fact, I’m generally so cheerful I actually worry about it sometimes.
This weekend was a perfect example. If you read the post Lemons, you know that both of our televisions kind of blew up on Friday and the hot water heater passed away sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning (a moment of silence, please). The situation here was not exactly glee-inducing. And, even though I was pretty upset at those things breaking down all at once, I still had my little mantra running in the back of my mind. “If this is the worst thing that happens to us we’ll be fine.”
What I think I really mean by that is
I said those words so many times to my children, my husband, and even my grandchildren. I repeated them when our sons didn’t do well when they first started showing rabbits (they hold rabbit shows just like there are dog shows). I said them over and over when I first had my spinal cord injury. And when Mr. Comfortable was diagnosed with cancer I told him the same thing. No matter how trivial or how life-altering a situation was I’d turn to that phrase to encourage and comfort my family and myself.
When we were told that our hot water heater had broken because it was improperly installed I was pretty upset. The heater is only four years old and, from what the service technician told Mr. C there was almost nothing that could be done to save it. We don’t have the money to repair or replace it – we discovered that cancer is really, really expensive when you don’t have insurance – so I was at a loss as to how we would handle this crisis.
I decided to call the company that had sold the heater to us and installed it. And I decided that I was going to be as patient, calm, and polite as I could possibly manage. The young lady who answered the phone had, naturally, no authority to waive their normal fees. She promised me she’d have her supervisor call me. I thanked her but reiterated that any charge to inspect and repair the heater would be unacceptable.
When I called back several hours later (the supervisor never did call me) I again explained that we’d already discovered the reason for the breakdown and that it was due to faulty installation. This time an older woman took the call and tried to explain their $90 fee to me. Once again I made it clear that I would not pay any fee for them to confirm the bad installation and that I expected them to repair the heater without charge.
Throughout the day, even as part of me was becoming frustrated with the company representatives talking again and again about a service fee, a larger part of me was telling myself that “If this is the worst thing that happens to us we’ll be fine.” And even more strongly was the conviction that not only would we be fine but that everything would be resolved in an even better way than I thought.
The service man didn’t arrive until after 5:30 p.m. He listened while I explained exactly why the heater had failed and then went to the basement to inspect it. Mr. C and I went with him to gauge his immediate reaction.
He announced after barely looking at the connections that, indeed, the wrong ones had been used. After looking at the fittings a few seconds longer he told us that he was going to tell his company that they needed to give us a brand new hot water heater. Any attempt to simply repair our heater would only delay having a new one installed. After a brief call to the company and the forwarding of several pictures of the faulty fittings we were informed that our brand new hot water heater will be installed today at no charge to us.
And Mr. C has already figured out how to repair the television sets and has ordered the parts.
So we’re just fine. This was not the worst thing that ever happened to us and everything worked out wonderfully. But I still wonder if I’m not a little odd for always assuming that things will work out. Yet, given the choice, I’ll take my joyful heart every day of the week. Even if it means I’m a bit strange.