Counting Stars

Stars in one’s crown #34:  Carroll Johnson, a kind and gentle maintenance man at Blue Mountain Academy.  When I think of him, my heart is warmed.  He had a spirit of service,for which he deserved several stars in his crown.  But I would guess he just did his thing and never thought about the stars he was accumulating.

Of all the homes we enjoyed at all the academies where we worked, our little hunting cabin in the big woods was by far my favorite. Knotty pine paneling straight off the mountain covered the walls of our sunken living and dining room; a 6′ native stone fireplace warmed the living area and open beam ceilings completed the picture of rustic charm.  The one problem was the heating arrangements.  The original hunting lodge portion of the house had a slate roof.  The instant snowflakes touched that slate, they melted.  This made it difficult to keep the house warm.  Our oil furnace needed to run 24/7 during the winter months, a costly proposition.

At 3 a.m. one night, our furnace ‘gave up the ghost’.  Sputter, sputter, chug, chug and nothing!  Silence.  Even with a fire roaring in the fireplace, our little cabin quickly turned from chilly to frigid.  Reluctantly Richard called Carroll in desperation. Our friend was there in ten minutes.  He worked on the machine throughout the night until he got it running again–not a word of complaint, even a sigh of irritation.  That’s the kind of guy he was.  Whatever the emergency he was there, laughing, cheerful and ready to ease our discomfort.

My facebook friends know I’ve been writing snippets about people who have influenced my life in a meaningful way.  And for the most part, they did so in little meaningful ways.  But Mr. Johnson’s gift was big and generous.  Proverbs 11q:25 NIV says, “A generous man will prosper…he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”  Prosper on, Mr. Johnson, prosper on.

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