Master Strokes (Twelfth Ordinary)

Awake now, Jesus told the wind to pipe down and he said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples, “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?” They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!” (Mark 4: 39 – 41)

My friend Annie, who lives in the unit below me, called to say she was hearing a weird noise with her washing machine. “It seems like water is flowing out somewhere, but I don’t see any leaks. Can you come take a look?” It was very late. Reluctantly I crawled out of bed. The rest of the house was fast asleep.

On entering her unit, I immediately heard a loud swooshing sound like a waterfall. I started to investigate and eventually entered the bedroom adjacent to the laundry. I pulled the bed away from the wall, and – Holy Moses! – there, gushing straight from the wall, was a massive jetstream. I had never seen anything like it.

Without saying a word, I walked out of the room and up the stairs. My friend didn’t even question my actions. We both knew it was time for extreme measures. I walked into my unit and nudged my husband, “Honey, there is water shooting out of the wall downstairs. Can you please come take a look?”

“Oh, for crying out loud,” he said, or ahem, stronger words to that effect (I had just broken a cardinal family rule not to wake Daddy). He put on his slippers, walked downstairs, looked at the wall, went to the basement, turned off the water, went to the laundry, pulled out the washing machine, saw that the hose had cracked from wear (which had forced water to shoot through the drywall into the room beyond), replaced the hose with a new one (that we just happened to have), pushed the machine back, walked upstairs, and went back to bed. All this was achieved in under 30 minutes.

Sometimes, when the storm rises and the boat is rocking, you have to wake up the master.

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