All of our ‘warranties’ will eventually expire

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, January 22, 2023

It was a gurgling sound, similar to the sound of water going down a drain. I paused to listen more attentively. It was still a mystery, so I called Othel to my study and asked him to listen. There was a slight noise, but neither of us could make a distinction of what it might be. I left my study and didn’t think about it again until the next morning.

“Othel, is it raining?”I called out to him. The sound of rain was coming from the ceiling.

He called from the den and said, “No, it’s not raining.”

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“Well you need to come here, because it’s raining somewhere!”

Othel soon agreed and knew the problem must be in the attic. In just moments, he called from the attic that he had found the problem. Our hot water heater had apparently sprung a leak, and the water had soaked the wooden platform holding the heater due to the drainage pan gradually spilling over. We weren’t many “gurgles” away from a major ceiling repair.

While Othel accessed the situation, I turned to my domestic tool cabinet — YouTube. I was about to share my new information concerning water heaters with Othel when he said he had already gotten information on the next steps. He shut down the crippled heater and began the search for a plumber that might have to carry a new hot water heater up an attic pull-down stairway.

He found one who came sooner than we expected. I had hoped he would find a faulty valve or a YouTube solution that Othel and I might use, but no. The sick hot water heater was beyond repair. It had rusted to the point that it was leaking from more than one breach.

I returned to my domestic tool cabinet only to be informed that water heaters need to be flushed and cleaned of sediment once a year. I rolled my eyes when I realized our heater had been collecting sediment and rust for over 10 years, and no human hands had touched it during those years.

We didn’t know! No instructions came with our house purchase, and we had never been schooled on the care of hot water heaters. Perhaps we had shortened the life of our heater by neglecting its needed maintenance.

Hot water heaters have nothing to do with eternal things, but our experience reminded me of the danger of not knowing key facts about eternal life, including how to know the way to it. Multitudes in remote, faraway places have never heard the name Jesus and are trusting their idols or spirits to navigate them through death. Yet in America we are saturated with the Gospel, preached in churches on every corner, shared through mission efforts, TV programs and social media.

Perhaps it’s the saturation of the “familiar” Gospel that’s lulled the lost to sleep, but all of our “warranties,” like hot water heaters, will eventually expire. All of us are “rusting out” a little each day.

Letters for Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.