All the appliances have sat dirty for nearly seven years. The convection ovens are covered in mouse droppings, and the stove tops are a greasy mix of unknowns that we all try not to look to closely at. The deep fryers were full of stagnant oil, and I am a witness that they no longer have that savory smell of French fries. My sweet friend Erica took on the unpleasant job of scooping the oil out of one of the fryers, After several scoops, she discovered that many mice had sadly lost their lives in an unfortunate drowning incident. The mice were quite nicely persevered by the oil, and although Erica and I were sickened by the sight and smell, young four-year old Rylan, thought it was the coolest find ever!
We took long breaks in between the days we worked on old kitchen, but all together we had put weeks worth of time into it and we were finally ready to haul out the big commercial equipment. This day we were blessed to have Shaun as well as Larry and his son Brady lending a hand. The work was hard and the heat of day made the smells a little nauseating, but overall things were going well. As the guys worked their way towards the west wall of the kitchen, they came across a grouping of wires that were stopping them from pulling out the last large oven. Knowing there was no power to this side of the house, the guys confidently cut the wires.
There was a shaking BOOM followed by a white cloud that blinded us and seemed to suck the air right out of our lungs. I was in the room along with Ben, Larry, his wife and their young son Brady. I called out to Ben and Larry for confirmation as to their safety and needs .The first seconds were so terribly silent but thank God I soon heard two voices echoing the same message.: “We’re okay!” We regrouped outside, drank some water and cleaned ourselves up best we could using old wet wipes I found in the car.
The dry chemical fire suppressions system had discharged, pushing a wave of bluish white power throughout the house.
When the fog had cleared, we made our way back inside. It was covered! Every surface, every nook, every dish, fork, binder, shoe, sock, pillow, sheet, movie, cd, picture, toothbrush, chair...Can you picture it? Our home was covered in bluish white powder.
Ben, Shaun and Larry started setting up fans and opening doors and windows. It took me several minutes to move from stunned to starting the clean up process.
After a simple prayer, thanking God that no one was hurt and asking for his grace to lead me forward, I cleaned up my CD player, ran out to the car to grab my favorite worship mix and dove into the mess. The first song, perfect for the day, was talking about needing ‘destruction’ or hardships in life, to develop character. I was impressed by the thought that God indeed knew what had just happened in our home, how we were all feeling, and what we could learn from all of this. I believe that because of His faithful, unconditional love for us, He is far more concerned with developing our maturity than ensuring our comfort. As I cleaned, I prayed. I prayed I would be covered by grace and by the love of God.
This I declare about my Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him….He will cover me, sheltering me with his wings...his faithful promises are my armor and my protection.. Psalm 91 1-5(paraphrased)