By Mariellen Gilpin (Supplemental to the August 2015 issue of What Canst Thou Say?)
On Sunday morning, very early, it was below zero outside the bathroom window. I was getting ready to go to worship, starting with a good hot shower. I was still pretty groggy, but I became aware that something about the sound of the water splashing in the tub wasn’t right. I looked down. I was standing in three or four inches of water. Tub drain was stopped up. I did what I knew to do — I checked for hair in the drain, and I jiggled the flapper that controls the plug. The drain remained plugged. In the interests of marital bliss, I refrained from waking up my husband. I finished my shower and continued to get ready for my long day at the meetinghouse.
I told my husband when he got up, shortly before I left for meeting. When I returned to the house a little before suppertime, I learned he’d spent the day alternately researching bathtub drains online, and trying various things to free the drain. No success. First thing on Monday morning, he would call the plumber. At bedtime, I peeked in the tub. It was still full of water, but after all of my husband’s various efforts, the water was now a whole lot dirtier.
I woke up about four on Monday morning, and lay there relaxing and saying my prayers. The tub drain was not weighing on my mind, although I hoped my husband, who recently had had a lengthy hospital stay, would not be weighed down by his responsibilities as family handyman. Shortly, I realized God wanted to do the praying. I invited God to pray through me, commenting that I didn’t know who or what was being prayed about, but I was thankful for the opportunity to be the vessel of God’s prayers. There was an unusually strong Flow of prayer-energy. Suddenly I heard the bathtub draining. I trotted into the bathroom. The tub was now empty, except of course for the very dirty ring left behind. I said to God, “I never realized You healed tub drains!”
I was ready to leave for the gym when my husband appeared in the kitchen. I reported that the tub was no longer full of water. Astonished but gratified, he hurried to the bathroom and turned on the tub faucets full force. Yes, the water did drain out perfectly well. He hurried to the utility room to check if there were a pool of standing water beside the tub outlet. No, the crawl space was entirely dry. He grinned from ear to ear, but he was also puzzled. There was no way the drain might have thawed itself free on that frigid morning. Had something he’d tried the day before finally worked, and if so, what?
I felt duty-bound to tell him everything I knew. I ended by saying, “I’m making no claims, but I am reporting the sequence of events!” Then I left for the gym. I reflected as I walked downtown, whether I knew of any precedent for the possibility that God included drain-clearing in His miracles. There was the parting of the Red Sea…and before that the Big Bang…so it seemed clear that clearing a tub drain was probably not a major undertaking for the Lord of the Universe.