Yesterday a plumber came to fix our shower (which has been leaking quite a bit). I was glad to have a plumber take a look, but also frustrated to schedule my Sabbath / the day where I’m sermonizing around his visit.
He gave me a call about 10 minute before he planned to arrive, so I cleaned the apartment as well as one can in under 10 minutes. My landlord told me that this guy was “rough around the edges,” so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Scott the Plumber was the GREATEST.
I led him to the bathroom and tried to be available but also not in the way (which is a balance that I have absolutely not mastered). I explained what I thought the problem was and waited for his assessment. While he tinkered, he asked me the usual surface-y stuff – “how long have you been living here? Are you married? What do you do?” – and when he learned that I’m a pastor, he just BROKE into song.
Let me tell you, his voice was one of the best I have ever heard. It was deep, and honest.
Scott had a rough life (his story is not mine to tell, but it was difficult to receive). Eventually, in a near car collision with a mother and her child, God called out to him and he gave his life to Christ. Ever since, he’s been singing in a blues band, writing music to be sung after the sermon in local prisons, and of course – plumbing.
He sang “Were you There?” and “Oceans” and a song he made up (one of the lyrics was about how Jesus is as close to us as the waves are to the shore). He saw me boppin along and asked me to sing with him.
So in my bathroom on a Friday morning, I harmonized with my bluesy plumber.
He lifted his hands up – eyes closed, toothless smile (all of his top teeth were missing) – and blew me away with his passion and absolutely gorgeous vocal brilliance.
When we were done singing, he prayed over my shower (that it would work well) and my ministry (that I would do it well). And then he left.
What a cool Friday. Remember to be nice to your plumber.