Peter and Rebekah Laue - 965 Cloud Cap Avenue - Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 USA

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Life Letters

The Yellow Bucket
December 3, 2016

This is not the first time that I have come face to face with the devil, also called “the accuser of the brethren.” This is not the first time I have wrestled with him and tried to expose him and get rid of him. Sixteen years ago I wrote and published “The Tale of Two Flat Tires.” You can read it by clicking on the yellow bucket. I bared my heart and confessed my sin. I allowed him, the devil, to use me as his henchman. He used me to accuse an innocent mechanic who fixed one of our tires that needed to be fixed twice in quick succession. But the accuser has been hanging around just waiting for the next opportunity to strike. And he recently did. I was still in my robe and pajamas when it happened.

Let me set the stage. I had done something that was on my “honey-do-list”; and the job turned out well and gave me extra kudos with my handmaiden Rebekah. But I failed miserably in one little detail. I didn’t put Rebekah’s yellow bucket in its assigned place in the garage after completing the job. I left it sitting on the back deck. It started to snow and the bucket accumulated a bunch of snow. The bucket was clearly visible from our kitchen and dining room windows. It was not a legitimate part of the landscape. Every time Rebekah saw it she was more aggravated, hoping I would put it where it belonged without having to say something. For several weeks, unbeknownst to me, she said nothing while the frustration in her kept building.

One morning, a Sunday morning, in a nice but with a commanding voice, Rebekah said, “Please put the yellow bucket back in the garage.” There was something in the tone of her voice that betrayed all she was feeling, but was not saying. She was no longer able to stuff and hide her frustrations.

I stopped whatever I was doing, went out in my robe and pajamas to retrieve the bucket, intending to put it back where it belonged. I was wearing slippers and carefully walked on the snow and ice that had accumulated by the back door. I reached for the bucket, noticed that it was partially filled with snow, turned it upside down and thumped it a few times to get rid of the snow. In the process of thumping the bucket, the plastic handle broke. It was one of those “oh no” moments.

Although the bucket probably did not cost more than two dollars, Rebekah had gotten bonded to it. She had used it for a number of years doing her gardening chores. Although she had a twin yellow bucket, I knew these buckets had become her darlings and I should try to fix the broken handle. I love fixing things and came up with a solution.

I brought the bucket inside where it was warm and I could figure out what to do. After a few failed attempts, I had an idea. I got a nail, held the end over the flame of a candle and then burned a little pilot hole into the end of the handle and also the rim of the bucket. I got a washer and a screw and reattached the handle. It worked perfectly and I was rather proud of my achievement and thanked Jesus for showing me what to do. The repair job might have taken an hour.

But what about that internal, hidden dialogue while working on this project? I first bashed myself for not putting the bucket back in the first place and then breaking the handle. Then I tried to find a legitimate reason to accuse or blame Rebekah for what happened. Then I bashed myself for allowing a little, insignificant matter to build a wall between us. And by the way, Rebekah also bashed herself for not getting the bucket and putting it away herself. But finally I was able to repent for having those ugly and accusing thoughts towards my handmaiden Rebekah of 43 years.

We aired our grievances and talked about those very human and ugly traits which can so easily tarnish a relationship. Unbeknown to the other person, they can fester inside of us for weeks and even months until they lead to a “head-on” collision if not confessed. The air has been cleared and our relationship is intact, even more solid and intimate. We both saw how human, frail and imperfect we still are. Every time I now see the yellow bucket, it brings this story to mind. As I was writing, the Holy Spirit reminded me of an old prescription for healing from God’s pharmacy – we must give ourselves and one another more room to grow, more freedom to fail and more time to heal.

But why do I feel it is important, even urgent, to tell you this story? I want to do my part to diffuse the tension that authors divorce, triggers riots and wars. Just one healed relationship would make my day. It would be the best Christmas present anyone could give me and Jesus.

I want you to see that the devil is real and opportunistic. He is not made of flesh and blood; he is a spirit and needs flesh and blood, you and me, to be his henchmen. He will do whatever he can to put husbands and wives and friends and nations at odds with one another. His prime target is breaking up families. Walls between people and nations can go up quickly, but usually come down slowly if at all. Confessing our uglies and repenting is the only way we can clear the air and diffuse the tension. The sooner we do, the better.

Being transparent like this takes courage; but the rewards are out of this world. Heaven is celebrating another victory and the devil has just lost another round. Jesus has let me know for certain that whenever the devil messes with God’s kids, he shoots himself in the foot. I am one of His kids. Yes, Jesus continuous to squeeze the hell out of me to make more room for heaven in me and also around me. Do read the Saga of the Pinecone again.

If you have a story you would like to add to this story, please write to us. We would love to hear from you via regular mail, e-mail, voice mail (970-731-2315) or a knock on our door at 965 Cloud Cap Avenue, Pagosa Springs, Colorado 81147, USA.

Here is a picture of Peter at his mailbox up the street, getting his “snail mail.” He loves getting letters, especially when they are handwritten and “heart-written. Drop him a line. It will make his day.

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All writings by Peter, the Lord's Scribe and Storyteller and all paintings by Rebekah, the Lord's artist are copyright free.