“That’s the last of them,” she told her husband as she dropped a board on the stack of boards in their back yard.
He looked up from where he was setting up his saw. “I’m ready here. The first thing we need to do is dig the holes.”
“Why can’t we just build it on top of the ground? It’s going to be heavy enough not to blow over.”
“It may not blow over in normal wind, but it wouldn’t stand a chance in a hurricane. Besides, do you want to chance it falling over with our kids on it? ”
“No, of course not. I just don’t see how it could fall over.”
“Trust me. We need the holes. And they need to be about two and a half feet deep.”
Sighing, she picked up the hold digger. She hated digging holes. “Here, you do it,” she told him.
She watched as he got busy, handing him the ax whenever he ran into a thick root. They had decided to build a free standing tree house close to a young tree. She had wanted to wait until the tree matured a bit more and nail it to the tree, but the kids were growing too and she wanted them to have the tree house while they were still young enough to enjoy it. Besides, her husband had pointed out, the tree was tall enough for its branches to extend over the tree house giving the illusion of being in the tree while not putting any stress on the young tree itself.
When he got about two feet down, water began filling the hole.
“I’ve hit the water table,” he said. “I don’t know how much further I’ll be able to go. Hopefully this will be deep enough.”
After attempting to dig past the water, he gave up and started on the next hole. When he finished all four holes, sweat was pouring down his face and he moaned as he stretched his arms and back.
“That was hard,” she said.
He just looked at her.
“What’s next?” she asked.
“We build a side, then stand it up and slide the posts down into the holes.”
“OK, what do I do?”
“Hold this,” he said as he laid a 2x2x5 across two saw horses. She held the board firm as he measured then cut it to fit between the two 4×4 posts that would be going into the holes. He cut a second one to match the first.
“Now what?” she asked.
“Hold this,” he said, laying one of the cut boards across two of the 4×4 posts. As she kept the board from shifting position, he nailed it down securely, then placed another 2x2x5 across the posts, a little ways from the first post. “There,” he said. “Now grab that side and I’ll get this side. Stand it up slowly.”
She took her position and between them, they got the side to stand up, then managed to pick it up, and slide the posts into two of the holes. As she held the side up, he backfilled the holes, tapping the dirt down firmly every six inches until both holes were filled. She let go of the side and it stood there straight and tall.
“Perfect,” he said. “Now for the second one.”
They repeated the process only this time it didn’t end as well. As they were sliding the posts into the holes, he lost his grip and the side began swaying.
“Hold on!” he said, trying to get a good handle on the post.
“I can’t hold this!” she grunted. “It’s too heavy.”
His hand slipped again and the post began falling towards her.
“Watch out!” he yelled as he desperately tried to get a hold of the post.
But before she could move, the side came down right on top of her. It happened too quickly to take any evasive action and she felt the brunt of the weight land on her shoulder. He bad shoulder. The one that had been damaged back in high school and later had surgery to repair the recurrent dislocation.
Shocked, she stood there unmoving, not knowing what to do to avoid more injury.
“Don’t move. I’m going to get this off you,” he said.
But she couldn’t hold the weight any longer. She twisted in ways she would have thought were impossible for her until she managed to get the side on the ground.
“Are you OK?” he asked her.
She didn’t answer right away She just stared at the boards laying within inches of her feet, and thought, “I could have been killed.”
He went to her and checked for injuries. Your neck is a little red and I think you’re going to have a bruise there, but other than that I don’t see anything.”
“I could have been killed,” she said. “Or at least on my way to the hospital. ”
“But you weren’t. And you’re not.”
“How did those boards not hurt me? They weigh more than I do and they came straight down on me. And all I get is a bruise?”
“Praise God for that!”
She thought about it as they got back to work. After a while, with no more mishaps, they were able to finish the tree house. By the time they finished cleaning up, she thought she knew why she hadn’t been hurt enough to call 911.
“I think God knew this was going to happen,” she began.
“Of course He did. He knows everything,” her husband interrupted. “Nothing takes Him by surprise.”
“I think there were angels here,” she continued. “I think they caught that side so it wouldn’t kill me. It’s amazing that I’m not even really hurt. Do you think there could have been angels here?”
“Definitely. God charges some of his angels to protect us. Remember what it says in Psalm 91:11? “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
“That’s right!” she agreed. “I do remember reading that. I just don’t think about it very much. But after today, I bet that’s going to change.”
Looking up to heaven, she said, “Thank You Father for Your angels, and for looking after Your daughter.”
“Amen,” her husband said.
And they went inside together to let their kids know the tree house was ready for them.