The Back Deck Project

The December morning was cold.  I was enjoying a cup of tea when I heard voices coming from the back of the house.


Opening the door onto the deck, I spotted a man on his knees, a hammer in his hand and a grin on his face. I recognized him as a member of Peace Church, and then spotted other members of his team—Comfort and Care's Handyman Committee. All that day and part of the next, four servants of Christ (Walter Hunt, Daniel Wilkins, Bruce Innes, and Steve Grube) labored in my back yard, replacing rotten boards, digging footings, repairing dangerously rotten support beams—and even planting flowers! They laughed as they worked, but they knew what they were doing. These men endured cold, mud, and sore muscles, as they served Christ, those frigid December days.


Months earlier I had prayed about how I could possibly afford to have my decks and steps painted. I knew my Social Security budget wouldn't stretch to cover that, but it needed to be done. I called Peace's Comfort and Care Committee, and they took it from there. Walter Hunt came and assessed the situation, giving me the sad news that extensive work needed to be done on my back deck before painting could begin. Weeks went by and all I knew was that he was talking with some other members of the group about my “problem.”  Christmas came and went, and then I heard them, happily hammering and digging, measuring and sawing. Now, the deck is structurally sound, ready for its spring paint job.


Scripture often mentions God's concern for widows and orphans, but we get caught up in more obvious ministry ventures and the more “grungy” work goes unnoticed. Washing dirty feet is a “grungy” job, but Jesus did it and admonished His followers to do the same. So caring for families who need a meal or a helping hand, welcoming newcomers, taking part in Prayer Vigils, sending cards, planting and cleaning up the church campus, building a playground, setting up for outside services during COVID, serving on committees, teaching, and many other “grungy” jobs, are ways we look like Christ's Body, the Church, washing feet.


Sometimes we can give help, sometimes we need help.  We are all members of the Peace Church family.


That December day, my neighbors asked who those people were, in my back yard. “They're members of my church,” I bragged, because, as one of the Team members remarked, leaning on his shovel, “That's the kind of church Peace is—we're a REAL church.”