Friday, January 29, 2010


After Sunday's unfortunate impulse, I had consequences to deal with Monday morning. It's taken me longer to write about it than it did to receive. By noon, I was singing "What Can Wash Away My Sin?...nothing but the blood of Jesus" and drafting this undeniable metaphor in my head. All things are possible! I've been redeemed. My hope renewed. In the long term, by Jesus. In the short term, by Jerry.

A friend had told my husband about a guy in Encinitas who replaces cracked glass on ipods. We'd considered this option before finding a $25 replacement ipod on Craigslist for Reid's Christmas stocking. Now I had a greater motivation to find him. Phone-less in 2010 was not going to cut it. (We disconnected our landline when we got Uverse.) Without a phone, I was completely out of commission.

A quick google search revealed the guy's identity. Jerry Yeh, 491 Second Street. I knew exactly where that was, even without google maps. Jerry was efficient, unflappable, courteous, kind, helpful and a good with his hands. He reminded me of Yubo behind a desk extending his hand in introduction, ready to serve. To say the least, this enterprising electrical engineer was in the right place at the right time. Having identified an emerging niche market, he appeared to be making money hand over fist with very little overhead. He spent the day making people's day!

In the 20 minutes that I waited for my repair, he received 8 calls on his bluetooth and 5 more walk-ins. For each one, he offered no judgment, only restoration and good news. From each one, he took what we offered and effortlessly turned it into what we most wanted. In the colloquial sense, he totally saved me.

Jerry was there to restore what I thought had been lost. In straightforward fashion, he asked each guest, "What happened?" No matter the story, he remained as confident and non-plussed as Jesus with the woman at the well.

Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." John 4:17-19

As he worked, I observed, "You've pretty much heard it all haven't you, Jerry?"

"Pretty much. The worst was a guy in the army who left his phone was in his shirt pocket during machine gun practice."

"No way!" I gasped. "Could you fix that one?"

"Oh yea," he was not proud, just certain.

Another guy handed his over remorsefully, "dropped in a toilet." "Give me an hour," Jerry promised.

As I wrote my check, a grateful and cheerful giver by then, a stocky, red-faced guy entered with one way worse than mine--honestly just like this picture. Jerry's routine greeting and question were met with a different reply, "Well, I'm a Marine, what can I say?"

I couldn't help but tilt my head like an inquiring pup. I tracked back and forth between the Marine and Jerry as if to ask, "And......?"

He eventually volunteered, "I dropped it and it was so broken, I figured I may as well stomp on it some more."

It was hard not to react to this stunning and sober account. I'm sure my eyebrows lifted, but not Jerry's. He received it like all the rest with full confidence. In a winsome way, I offered some relief from the silence, "you sound like my son." (Reid has a penchant for what we call "do-overs.")

Autism or no autism, we all make mistakes. The experience reminded me that I am not alone! Any embarrassment or shame I might have had, washed away as I saw the pile of parts behind Jerry and met the other customers. With broken phones in hand, we were all the same. Needing repair. The universal human experience was a bond causing us to humbly approach and gleefully exit.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. Isaiah 53:5-7

But Peter said, "In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!" With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. Acts 3:7-10

I left with 5 of his business cards to give to friends...and a firsthand object lesson of what the Savior does for us. The euphoria I felt driving away fully functional, whet my appetite for what it will be like to have God wipe every tear away, restore what the thief has stolen, and enter His Kingdom where there is no sickness or death, autism or broken parts.

"For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."Revelation 7:16-17

For me that Monday, Jerry was a type of Christ; he prefigured an aspect of Jesus; he was a shadow of things to come. Being authentic Christian is seeing Christ in others and anticipating what He can and did and will do to transform each of us.

"to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners" Isaiah 61:1-3

1 comment:

  1. "The euphoria I felt driving away fully functional, whet my appetite for what it will be like to have God wipe every tear away, restore what the thief has stolen, and enter His Kingdom where there is no sickness or death, autism or broken parts."

    Amen, amen.