Toilet talk in the hardware aisle

“Sir, can you tell me if this kit will work for my toilet?” The older male employee I’d approached in the plumbing aisle of the hardware store looked at the package in my hand.  “What’s wrong with your toilet?”

“Well,” I said, “ya’ know how when you flush a toilet, it goes ‘Whsh…?” (I pursed my lips, pushed them out, and made a long shhhing sound). He froze. I continued. “But not ours. At least, not anymore. For the last few weeks, it goes (I arranged my mouth back into position and sounded off again)‘Whsh, whsh, whsh, whsh. Whsh, whsh, whsh, whsh…’ Like that. About ten times, even more.” I added a few more “Whsh”-es, (just in case hearing the sound again may trigger a helpful suggestion). “Have you ever heard of that? And the toilet is fairly new too! Less than ten years. Bought it here, in fact!”

The man swallowed. When he spoke, his voice seemed stilted. “Um….no. Never.”  Me neither, I told him. In fact, I’ve lived with toilets all my life and not one ever got a case of hiccups. Eyes carefully locked on mine, he spun out a volley of plumber-type questions: “Does the tank fill up? (Eventually.) Are you having any other plumbing issues in the house? (No.) Have you taken the tank lid off to see what’s happening under there? (Not yet, but I will.)  

“Well,” he said finally, enunciating carefully. “I have no idea. That kit definitely won’t work. Perhaps ask a plumber? Or try the manufacturer’s website.”

He turned quickly away as another customer approached from behind. “Thanks,” I said, and began walking back to where I’d found the kit – but not before I noticed him leaning close to the newcomer. “I heard that,” the second fellow said. The clerk shook his head. “Best part o’ my day,” he muttered, barely loud enough for me to hear. “Best part o’ my day.”

And there they stood, the pair of them, in the middle of the plumbing aisle. Laughing at me.  

Puzzled, I rewound the conversation in my head—and saw what they must have seen. Me, asking my question. Mimicking my toilet’s sounds. My lips protruding; spraying, perhaps? Flapping the kit in my hand up and down as I punctuated my explosions. No wonder they’d laughed. When I turned the next corner, found my friend Glenda and told her, we did too. So hard we could barely stand.

In my journey of following Jesus, I’ve asked God many honest questions. At least a few may have seemed childish, ignorant, impossible or offensive. That’s why I love these verses in James 1: 5- 6: “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Only one condition follows – that we believe, without a doubt, that God will supply the needed wisdom.

Got questions? Just ask. You’ll never find God standing doubled over in Heaven’s aisles.