Day 8 of “shelter-in-place”: in which I disassemble a corded hedge trimmer, for parts.
The tool, to be sure, has seen its better days. It’s among the oldest items in my limited array of yard-aides – so it was not at all surprising when the Black & Decker hacked-and-wheezed its way into near-total ineffectiveness the other day.
“A cracked lead wire,” I surmised. “Or faulty plug prongs, perhaps. But the motor still seems to function…”
And thus began the disassembly escapade.
An ill-advised adventure, it turns out. From the outside – to my lame-brain, anyway – it looked like the motor could be removed from the rest of the tool, intact. And once removed, surely there’d be a way for some Clever Handy Dude (but most definitely, Not Me) to put it back to work…in a different and perhaps highly entertaining application.
What I discovered is this: Remove a few screws, and the whole dang thing starts to fall apart. You’re not removing a motor. You’re liberating motor parts from their precision-cut interconnections.
Yes, under that rugged and ruddy orange plastic housing are a collection of purpose-built components…elegantly machined pieces, all…pieces that don’t take kindly to repurposing schemes.
Still taunted by the fecklessness of the whole project, I gave half a thought to how I might reclaim the copper windings. “Surely they must have some residual value…” But I got nothing except a grease stain on my tee-shirt for my trouble.
It was only this morning, as I participated virtually in the liturgy for the 5th Sunday of Lent, that I received the blessing I’d been looking for. Today, we hear the story of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead. And I noticed that it’s not so much the resuscitation miracle that touched my heart – but the interconnections among all the people in the story.
Take, for instance, the fact that Jesus had a dear friend – one he loved so much that his passing moved him to tears. Jesus – Emmanuel, God With Us, God Incarnate – in a very human moment spends time weeping for his friend.
Notice this also: How Jesus reaches out to the two sisters, Martha and Mary. He speaks to them individually, consoles them one-on-one. And not only them. He is present to the broader community as well – everyone who loved Lazarus, or knew him…including many who meant Jesus harm.
Jesus, ever the Teacher, shows us – even in his grief – how we are all part of one Body. How we are all interconnected.
It’s an important lesson, in any Lenten season. But particularly today, I think, in this time of social isolation, we should take a moment to savor – and be blessed by – the promise of Christ’s presence. And while we’re at it, I suppose we each oughta be looking for ways to be Christ’s presence (even if only virtually) to those who might be feeling cut off from the Body of Christ.
That’s a bit more useful in the long run, I’d wager, than the time spent trying to remove windings from the motor in a broken-down hedge trimmer.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.