Bob and I thoroughly enjoy morning coffee breaks on the comfort of our third floor deck — one of the many benefits of working from home. Today, like most others this summer, we lingered on the shaded deck enjoying the relatively cool morning until we realized we were locked out.
We never lock the deck door. I think I know how it happened, but it really doesn’t matter. We were trapped.
Some (well many) years ago, while living in Russia, we often found ourselves at the mercy of faulty locks. Each occasion turned into a fresh opportunity to trust the Lord and another great story about His faithfulness. The first time this happened the problem was the lock. We returned home one night, went to unlock the door and it wouldn’t open. The lock was quite old and clearly needed some oil. We knew maybe 50 Russian words, and oil wasn’t one of them. But, we had just learned the word for butter — which sounds a lot like the word for meat. We knew both words but we weren’t real clear on the difference. So, we tapped on our neighbor’s door, held our key up and proclaimed, “Butter” or maybe it was “Meat.” The puzzled look on his face told us we weren’t communicating our need. So we stated the words more slowly and much, much louder. He shut the door. Deflated we went back to the door and took turns. Bob would rattle the key in the lock and I’d sit on the worn, dirty steps and pray. We had no cell phone (they had yet to be invented) and it was late at night. We were trapped so we prayed with increasing urgency. Then, maybe twenty minutes later a few rather tipsy men came falling down the stairs. Having no other recourse we showed them our key and blurted out, “Butter” (or meat – who knows). They peered at us through glassy eyes and disappeared. Seconds later they reappeared with a little tiny greasy bottle filled with motor oil. We dipped the key into the oil, inserted it into the lock and low and behold, it worked.
Today, out on the deck, we prayed and tried to use a fork to jimmy the lock. Then, we called our association person to see if she had a locksmith to recommend. Then Bob found a binder clip holding a bag of soil closed. While I googled “How To Pick A Lock” Bob started working the lock. We watched a tutorial. In order to follow the steps included we needed a “pick a lock kit” from the hardware store. Seriously? Another said something like, “straighten a paper clip, insert in lock, jiggle it around.” That’s it – nothing more. Finally, we found one that gave several options for a workable tool explaining that it simply needed to fit into the lock. The site included close-up photos and provided clear written encouragement, “Don’t worry about breaking the inside of the lock — this isn’t brain surgery.” Good to know. We followed each step, continued to pray, and 30 minutes later Bob cried out, “We’re in!”
Life goes on…but today we’re reminded that God indeed is good and faithful, He hears and answers prayer and we are thankful for: the shady side of the deck, the binder clip holding the bag of soil closed (which was on this deck and not the other) my iPhone, working internet, Google, breaking and entering tutorials, Sherry our association person, patience, Wood’s Locksmith Company who was on the way, and finally, saving $100.