I took this picture on March 22...
after a week with a couple of good rains, the grass you see under the cherry tree was taller and the wild onions were sending up white blossoms on long stalks, giving my still dormant Bermuda grass lawn, a "wilderness" look.
Not to mention the asparagus fern looping up in the middle of the lawn and after the storms, there were leaves from the silk oak, which drops its leaves in the late spring, everywhere along with assorted storm debris.
I was dealing with allergy complications from the oak pollen and hadn't yet gotten around to unearthing my lawn mower from the garage and attempting the first mow of the season, when on 3/28, I arrived home to find a notice similar to this one...
taped to my door.
It said that I had until 4/10 to correct the problem, [remove weeds, cut lawn, etc.]
or the city of Mudville would "abate" the situation and bill me.
Since it was after their office had closed when I arrived home, I couldn't call. The next day, I figured out that Friday, the next day, would be my only chance to cut the lawn for days as storms were expected. So, I donned a mask against the pollen and spent about 2 hours digging out the mower, adding oil & gas, getting it started mowing the lawn and getting as much water grass out the beds as I could. Then I used the mower[it mulches...]as a blower to clean off the sidewalks & driveways. I cut back some overgrown foliage, pulled some weeds, then I collapsed.
Later, I called the officer who left the note. Of course, it was Friday, one of the, "every other Fridays" that they are closed, [cost-cutting...]. So I left a message. When I didn't hear back after the week-end, I called again, leaving another message that I had done what was requested. Later, that same day, the mailman brought me a 2nd copy of the violation by registered mail, ramping-up my concern. Finally, I got a call from the officer and after I explained what I had done, he said that he would come by on the next day, Wednesday, to have a look and,"...hopefully, close the case".
I was out all that day and when I got home, was a bit disappointed that he had not left me a note with problems or a notice of compliance. There was no phone message either, but Holy Week was about to consume my schedule, so I didn't think about it anymore.
That is, until Friday when I got a 3rd copy of the violation in the mail. There were NO notations on it regarding either something that remained to be corrected or that I had complied with the violation. Just a 3rd copy of the original document, so I called the officer. His voice mail message indicated that he would be out of the office until 4/16. Unfortunately, my deadline was 4/10, so I called the main office number. They were closed for the week-end.
So I had a choice. I could trust God to "keep" me, leaving the disposition to Him, or I could fret all weekend, ruining my focus for all that needed to be done at the church and robbing me of all my Easter joy.
I chose to trust God...
but that only meant that the enemy continued to try everything he could to get me back to worrying about what to do, what to say and chewing on it like Molly gnaws at a bone...
After the Good Friday service, I visited briefly with a dear brother who pointed out that I had see God provide for me,"very recently..." and that the third notice was, "probably just a paperwork glitch..." I realized that he was saying what I needed to hear, so I redoubled my efforts to ignore all the temptations to pick my burden back up, and I left it there with God.
If I found myself poking at it, I dropped it immediately and stepped away.
Finally, this morning arrived. The time that I could reach someone by phone to try to straighten this out before tomorrow's compliance deadline. I called the number, endured the useless menu, dialed "O", was told I'd be transferred and then my call was dropped.
I laughed out loud and dialed again. This time I dialed "O" before the useless menu.
Finally, someone answered. I told my story and gave her my case number.
After looking my case up, she said, "The officer has closed this case, can I help you with anything else ?" Smiling broadly, I said no thanks, thanked her for her help and hung-up.
Then I gave thanks to God for being faithful, for helping me to trust Him and for sending a dear brother to give me words of comfort and hope. It had NOT occurred to me that it might just be a "glitch" or poor communication.
So today as I went to the church office to pay my mortgage online, [that "little voice" had reminded me that I had been distracted from doing it a few days before when I had been paying bills & balancing my accounts,] I have had an extra dose of Easter Joy.
God is good and faithful... now if only the Giants would start playing better baseball...
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen, indeed!