Painting the town blue

We had a painter come and re-finish our kitchen cabinets last week with a varnish called "boat coat" that is used for sea-worthy vessels. There is a creek behind our house, but we don't expect it to rise that high and hope our kitchen is never sea-worthy. The painter, Ron, told me this story:

He went to a multi-million dollar house to paint. A woman, crying, met him at the door. As they walked down the hall, she kept crying.

"What's the matter?" Ron said.

"Nothing," the woman said.

"Stop, now, something's obviously wrong; would you like to talk about it?"

"I don't even know you," the woman said.

"Well maybe talking to someone would help; can we sit down?"

They sat down in the living room and she told him the reason she was crying was because she was lonely, had no friends. He asked did she know any of her neighbors? Does she have a church she attends?

"Churches just want my money," she said.

"Why don't you find some place that doesn't want your money," Ron said. She looked surprised, as if she doubted such a place exists.

"Let me ask you something about your silverware," Ron said.

She stared at him in disbelief. "What does my silverware have to do with anything?"

"You need to start wearing it out."

"That's eighty thousand dollars worth of silverware!"

"Well you need to start using it. You live in a gated community . . . I've been in many of these houses and there's many people who feel alone. Get together with them. Maybe even start a Bible study and tea time."

Months later Ron saw the woman at his Baptist church. He's not only a painter but also sings in the choir. He saw her in the crowd and couldn't wait to rush down afterwards and talk to her. She was happier than ever, had started a small gathering of women in her community and was searching for that church that didn't care about her money.

Ron then said to me, "I'm in a lot of homes and you never know what a word or taking a brief moment with someone can do, and I learn from seeing families interact, too."

As Ron left I asked him not to cash my check till Thursday. We'd have the money in the right account by then. We're not too worried a church will want us for our money!

GeneralGreg Taylor