Saturday, January 10, 2015

Manual Labor

The manual labor efforts prove effective.  Mark arrived yesterday, and despite an electrician, the two of us framed in the entire upstairs bath walls, including pony wall where end of shower base will be.  Was exhausted and in oodles of pain by the end of it, but then managed to level the refrigerator after several months.  So thankful for the help.

Was resting in this morning after awakening at 3 a.m. from pain, and spent rest of dawn praying and pondering.  So was surprised when heard a knock at Te Deum Hermitage door. Peeked out this upstairs window to see Francisco below!  Raphael had evidently heard the message left the other day, and Francisco available to work.

He is yet ill.  Had heard he was ill the other day and thus did not come but assumed would be better.  Francisco has been ill for over a week with a terrible sinus problem and sore throat.  Immediately gave him some strong admixture of vitamins that shake with water into a liquid therapy.  Gets into the system rapidly.  Gave him the last two Sudafeds in here.

But he said he wanted to do some work; and so we did. Finished stapling insulation batts in living room ceiling. Hung some greenboard on one wall of new bathroom that has no electrical outlets on bathroom side.  And got the old refrigerator out of the place and into pole barn.  It had been smack-dab in the center of a pathway in the hermitage.  What a tremendous uplift to have it out of the way.  Will sell it.  Too many bills to pay this month to gift it.  Am consistently in negative cash flow.

Francisco also helped get a couple more cabinet doors hung. Takes two:  one to hold and adjust, the other to screw in.  All this was five hours' worth of manual labor, with also the task of cutting and nailing some blocks from underneath this upstairs floor in order to nail down some plywood.  There were two holes, one where the chimney used to tower up through the roof and the other was a register opening so heat could rise to the upstairs.

We had a miracle with this last project.  We were using up scraps of plywood, and of the different sizes of scraps and the two different sized openings in the floor to be filled, the last piece needed just happened to be the exact size of the last scrap on hand.  What are the odds?  Nothing thanked God aloud, and Francisco noted the gift, as well.

Manual labor is marvelous.  As mentioned in a previous post or perhaps an email to someone, there are some tasks that cannot be done totally solo.  Many of the tasks accomplished are amazing to friends who cannot understand how this nothing Catholic hermit can do any of it.  And admittedly, it is rather incredible, and is of course, His Real Presence and angels, particularly Beth, the Guardian Angel who always helps with the house of God, for surely God is in this place.  Where we are, if God has made His Abode in us, is God's "house."

But also marvelous are the tasks that require another person or two.  One must be quite patient, however, for His Real Presence to decide who and when a person can come to work with the hermit.  For weeks can be put off or else out of money to pay. Then when God chooses, and often as a surprise like this morning, help arrives!  And there was money in the envelope to pay!

One can presume how purely simple were the early desert fathers and mothers--particularly the women.  No wonder their hermitages were caves or bunkers they could dig out by hand to create shelter.  Or, they would inhabit some hut or cave or dwelling that a hermit had abandoned either by going farther into the desert (forest, mountain) or by death.  Some moved into existing anchorholds built to the side of a church.

We can grasp how times have changed.  But manual labor remains a blessing of effort, prayer, bodily exercise, and functional, productive results.  Even if planting flower bulbs or building a stone wall when neither are necessary, the manual labor provides much good for the individual, can be an example of work ethic for others, and is a link with humanity--with all who labor.  With the heart and mind settling in loving work, manual labor becomes a prayer of the soul, a productive bodily effort while a communing in His Real Presence.

But enough labor for a bit.  Nothing is in bed, resting the body and "working" on pain management!  Will pray extra for Francisco and all who are ill with sinus infections, colds, or any other malady that keeps them from their regular work and makes them feel "punk."

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another.

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