And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. —2 Samuel 24:24
“I don’t want it,” Katie said.
Her two friends murmured their agreement and quickly left the room.
“Why would you want something with a big gouge in it,” she asked.
“Because it doesn’t matter to me,” I said.
Let’s just say the rest of the conversation quickly went downhill.
So let me first say, that one woman’s gouge is another man’s scratch. It wouldn’t have looked that bad to me under better circumstance.
But these were not better circumstances. I’d just spent six hours over two days setting up a new printer I’d bought for her home office. This included way too much time on the phone with tech support, running meaningless diagnostics to prove what I knew from the start: the machine didn’t work. I’d read the manual, used the online chat support, and called the help center.
They had finally concluded it was in fact a hardware problem and I would have to return it to the store. So, two days, 80 miles and some frustrations later this was the second printer, and it worked perfectly.
So, we had two options. We could leave this cool multifunction printer where it was, spitting out copies and scans on both sides of the paper. Or I could take it apart for the second time, put it back in its complicated packaging and go back to the store, asking for yet another one to set up. The setting up process itself took about an hour.
“I’ll take it apart and put it back the box,” I said. “But I’m not taking it back to the store.” This may have been the nicest thing I had to say about the subject.
So I sat down, cooled off, took it apart, put it back in the box and headed back to town. The nice people at Office Max apologized for my trouble and I came home again with the third printer, which works fine and is dent free.
Ephesian 5 says my job is to love my wife as Christ loved the church, which is a whole lot. And I understand that Christ did this by laying down his life for her. What’s a few hours compared to that?
But what I don’t always understand is how it works. Or why. Ephesians says the point of this was so that Christ would “to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
I’m not always sure how to love my wife like that.
But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t start with a blemished printer. Only a pure, unblemished lamb will do for a sacrifice. The truth is, she hadn’t asked me to solve her printing problems, which were many. But I had promised to do so. It was a gift.
And a gift always costs us something, often more than we expected.