Having the same conversation

About a week ago, our house alarm started going off around 5 pm on a Friday afternoon. The house we bought last year has two alarm systems installed. One is monitored, the other is not. The one that is not monitored was the one going off. Trust me, it is an awful noise. I went […]

by bob

Dec 7, 2020


About a week ago, our house alarm started going off around 5 pm on a Friday afternoon. The house we bought last year has two alarm systems installed. One is monitored, the other is not. The one that is not monitored was the one going off. Trust me, it is an awful noise.

I went downstairs to shut it off and the first thing I noticed was water pouring from the ceiling down the wall, into the alarm system. I didn’t think it was raining, but I can get lost in work sometimes. I checked…It wasn’t. Then I remembered that there was a room above me…so I went to check M’s bedroom…nothing there, but the bathroom is right next door. While the sink had not been shut off tightly, there were no obvious sources of the flooding we were experiencing downstairs.

I am trying to figure all this out with the alarm still blaring as it would not shut off due to water pouring into it. Nerves frayed. Liz is on the phone trying to get someone to come over and help us, I am trying to figure out where the water is coming from.
I asked if she noticed anything in the bathroom. She didn’t. I asked M and got a vague answer…although to be fair after 10 minutes of the alarm blaring, my comprehension rate was falling as quickly as everyone’s anxiety rate was rising. I explained that no one was mad at her, and she was not in any trouble but I needed to know what happened in the bathroom. Something with the dog, but I’m not sure what and nothing that could cause this.

After about 15 minutes, the alarm stopped. (Ahhh)

I went back to chat with M. “No one is mad at you, and you are not in any trouble. Were you using the sink? Had you flushed…”

Then she asked, “why are you blaming me?”

“We are not blaming you. As I’ve told you several times, ‘No one is mad at you, and you are not in any trouble.’”

“But it feels like you are blaming me.” That is when the penny dropped for me.

She was receiving the questions I asked like she was on trial. She heard, “What did you do to cause this problem?”

But we were asking trying to figure out which of the 3 water producing items (sink, toilet, tub) had begun draining into our downstairs hallway so that we could stop using it for now and tell a plumber where the problem was.

We explained that it just as easily could have been one of us, and eventually learned that the sink was the source of the problem.
It helped that the alarm was no longer going off…and it helped even more that we were having the same conversation.

[the photo is of a waterfall at Powerscourt, Co Wicklow]

What about…

I grew up in Western New York and have started and led missional church planting efforts for a little over 30 years. As you might gather, I have opinions about the church, and I share some of them here.

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