Friday, December 20, 2013

The Infamous Lid

Just last month, I posted on FB requesting suggestions for removing a lid that washed down the drain in the tub. And not just any lid, but one that was the perfect size to effectively prevent water from draining from the tub in a timely fashion... GROSS!!! I could not possibly reach it as the drain goes at least 3 inches down, followed by a 90 degree turn, and then a straight shot with the lid being stuck about 6-7 inches back (NO, my fingers are not that long).
My friends had great ideas for removing it:
. plumber's snake - tried it, but it just wedged the lid in tighter
. gum on the end of coat hanger - the gum kept getting wet
. Needle-nose pliers - wouldn't work
. Stuart Little - couldn't find him
. Vacuum/shop vac - tried both. Even rigged them to work together...
I prayed about it and kept tossing around ideas for removing it.... if only I could break it into pieces OR insert a screw somehow... but how to work around the 90 degree angle (do they even make flexible tools or ones that work around angles?).

I finally devised a plan: a longish screw attached to a short bit using electrical tape. The electrical tape allowed just enough flexibility to make it past the 90 degree turn. I attempted to turn the bit with my fingers in order to advance the screw into the lid; but my efforts were working more towards ripping up the side of my finger with minimal rotation. Next, I tried to turn the bit with the slip joint pliers and also as a surface to strike with the hammer. Finally, it seemed that it was working. I snatched up the needle nose pliers and pulled. Pop... only the bit and screw emerged :( 
How does it go? If first you don't succeed, try, try again! And that is exactly what I did... 
But this time, as I began to pull, I could feel the lid give and began to slide towards me.
 My heart was racing. I was shaking.
 Just as it reached the 90 degree angle, the screw popped loose. 
My heart stopped. 
Gingerly, I stuck my finger down the hole, but I quickly abandoned that idea as I realized that it was only shoving the lid back down the drain. What to do? I hooked up the vacuum one last time, desperate, not expecting anything. I turned it on but couldn't see beyond the hose. I flipped it off with a great sigh and removed the hose. To my utter amazement and delight, the lid was there within grasp.

 I was exceedingly proud of myself at this point...
I devised a way to solve a difficult problem and succeeded.
And then I looked at the lid...
quite a humbling experience.
You see, I had not even managed to pierce the lid with all of my hours of effort. 
The screw had only passed between the pipe and the lid.
It barely even "bit" into it.
But God, in His gracious providence, allowed this miniscule grazing of the plastic to be enough to pop it loose. The weeks that it sat trapped there also allowed quite a bit of slime to build up. 
To say the least, I felt very small and God incredibly big!!!!

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