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Daily Devotions
Mr. Ski is warm tonight

December 2009 

Dear Peter, 

I want to thank you... Do you ever wonder at the end of the day, what have my thoughts and words really accomplished today? did people listen to me, or was I just drowned out in the noise of life? Did someone say, well that sounds real good... I'll do it! and then just forget or decide it was to hard to carry on with it. Did I get through to someone? Well the answer is yes! most definitely. 
I have a very Unique view of religion and what it means to me... I am not always sure of exactly how I feel but as I age 39 yesterday my image of what life all means is sharpening. This much I know... it is vastly different for differing people. But that could be a long story and not really why I am writing. 
I cant tell you how long I've been listening to your daily devotions, and as a matter of fact I hardly ever get a chance to see you in the morning. Not because I don't want to its just a time issue. but your story today has compelled me to write. You see, I might only listen to you a half dozen times or so a year but what I cannot ignore is that EVERY time I do catch you in the morning its as if your story was hand picked to somehow fit into a trial or tribulation going on in my life, or just my routine in general. 

I own an oil heating service company... I'm the guy that gets the call at 2am when that pesky red button on your oil burner pops up LOL. Well my day started a 5am when my on call phone rang... It was an elderly gentleman who had no heat. I have a series of questions that I ask when a call comes in and as a business owner, I always cover my rates for my service calls and what the customer should expect. If it’s a new customer which in this case he was, we request that payment is due at the time of service. He hesitated when I quoted the rates but he said well ok I need heat. I could tell he had no money. I was getting ready to head out the door and was grabbing a quick swig of coffee when I heard your story for today... I listened with only one ear as I was lacing up my boots but at the end I heard "God gives you gifts and we must use them..." Something to that effect anyways. 

I'm trying to not make this letter to long but you see in York county and the Rochester NH area where my business is focused there is a lot of poverty and unfortunately I see a lot of people that abuse our social help systems and I am bothered by that...Unfortunately after having many checks bounce or people promise to pay later and never do... I am very wary of new customers and promises of getting paid later for my work. I know it shouldn't be all about money but I have to feed my own family as well. So after talking with Mr. Ski I thought I had him all figured out... 

Long story short His furnace was in such disrepair that It was unsafe for him to operate even if I had made the repair. I am required to shut a system down if it poses a fire or carbon monoxide risk. I told him bluntly that I would rather him be cold than DEAD! sounds rude but sometimes I have to say it that way. Carbon Monoxide will kill you period! I am in business to help people not injure them... 

Turns out that he had no funds to replace the furnace and he was not eligible for any assistance from the state because he was over the income limit by 400 dollars if you can believe it! I talked to him for a bit and explained that I was sorry, but there was nothing I could do at that point. Well I needed to get to my next stop and was heading for the door, he offered me his hand in thankseven though I didn't really do ANYTHING for him.... It was ice cold... I then noticed he was trembling...He lives alone and has Parkinson's and cannot drive. 

God gives us the tools and we must use them. Those words came back to me... I drove to Lowes and bought him two electric heaters to get him by... Then I hit the phones I called every welfare and community action office I could. Several times as a matter of fact because they kept passing the buck back and forth to each others office. I finally got an ok for funding around noon and my partner and I headed off to put in his new furnace. 

Mr. Skiis warm tonight and your words are the reasons why... I went into that job with the same hard skin I always have and would have most likely left him to fend for himself to be honest... I am glad that I helped him and in turn I feel warmer myself tonight. 

I listened and am better off for it. You do good work and I wanted you to know! 

Fair winds and following seas.
~Tim S., Southern Maine
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