February 4, 2010

The Time a Lightbulb Made Me Cry


electric lamp consisting of a transparent or translucent glass housing containing a wire filament (usually tungsten) that emits light when heated by electricity
Lightbulbs should not make me cry, but this weekend one such glass-wire-filament-thing did. It was late. It was dark. I walked into my bathroom and fsszzt the lightbulb flashed once and died. No big deal. I'm an independent lady. I know just what to do. First, I braved the dark and scary basement to dig a new bulb out of the ultra-large pack I bought at the discount store a while back. See, I'm prepared for events like this. I shop ahead.

Next, I pulled a chair in from the kitchen so that I could reach the light fixture in the middle of my bathroom ceiling. This is where the plan goes horribly awry. I couldn't reach. It wasn't even close. Standing on the chair on my tippy-toes I was still a good two inches shy of the ceiling. At first reaction I was simply annoyed. I brushed my teeth in the dark and went to bed.

I don't own a ladder, so the next day while at a friend's house I found what I thought was my solution. My friend is much taller than I am. He's got a good 12 inches on my 5'2". I asked him if he would come by later in the day and change my lightbulb for me. Not a super easy thing to ask. I felt like a helpless little girl, but in truth that's what I was. I couldn't do this for myself. Not without going to HomeDepot and buying a ladder I don't have money for.  He said sure, he'd be glad to help, but, well, he's a busy guy. The end of the weekend saw me still brushing my teeth in the dark.

On day three without a functioning lightbulb I got mad, annoyed at myself for not being able to do a simple little thing like change my own lightbulb. I spent a good part of Tuesday pissed off at my lack of independence. Then, on Wednesday, I my anger turned to sadness. I'm not independent, I'm just alone. No tall, dark and handsome husband to change the hard to reach lightbulbs (and while we're at it, let's throw in shoveling snow and killing bugs). I sat in my dark bathroom and cried.

It's been nearly a week now. No light in the bathroom. It's not ideal, but it has reminded me of a greater lessen. I may be a smart and confident lady. I am pretty independent, but I wasn't made to live my life alone. God himself exists in community and he created me to enjoy the same. Community brings light to the dark places of my life.

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