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Posts Tagged ‘Spelunking’

Recently I wrote an entry entitled of “Fear or Faith?” I had seen a picture of one of the boards that I needed to replace which was rotten and cracked. At the moment I stepped down into the hole that was the entrance to the crawl space, I had a sudden jolt of panic. I have worked in very tight crawl spaces in the past, and when I was young I used to spelunk.

At the moment of panic, the man I was working for was surprised and reminded me of a long past adventure that I had told him about years ago. On an underground adventure I explored a set of side passages off of the main entrance room of the cave. My partner, in years to come a MAF pilot, decided that the entrance to the passage looked too small. It turned out that was not the problem. Unlike the rest of the cave which was mostly one room about the size of a three car garage, these small passages were a labyrinth of parallel and perpendicular passages. After a time, I had exhausted the directions I seemed to be able to go and my interest in them. I began to attempt to retrace my course to the exit, but could not remember the route or gain the entrance. I periodically had been conversing with my friend about what I was finding. Now I told him that I was confused and that he should keep talking so that I could come to his voice. One or two turns of crawling and I could see the light of his headlamp. It was at this moment that we both realized that there was more than one entrance to this labyrinth and that I had come to a different one. The second discovery was more disconcerting. The opening looked too small for my slight 150 lbs to shinny through. He told me to go to the other entrance. I replied that I had no idea how to get there. So, I put my arms above my head and acted like a worm. I discovered something else about myself. At this juncture in my life, my hips were a larger circumference than my chest. My hips became stuck. In this position I could neither move forward nor backwards. I began to breathe faster. My friend and I both knew that panic would only cause my body to swell. He talked me down and began pulling the pants and my flesh through the hole. It was for me a tense several minutes. The entrance was only feet away and sunlight never seemed so warm and inviting.*

So, my recent below floor crawl fest was not exceptional in some respects, but it was tight and there was potential for harm. I had to dig out a place for my shoulders and hips so that I could turn on my side to work. I successfully corrected the floor problem and was able to jack it to within 1/4″ on 4′ from level. The floor resisted any further leveling and closing of the gap between counter and tile on the wall. I think that it was because the wall was rising with the floor. Being a two story house, that quickly maxed out the two car jacks I was using. To see how tight the space was click on “Tight“.

I am so, so thankful for God’s mercies in various kinds of tight places. He gives me peace in the midst of panic, security in shocking situations, and direction in desperate need.

  • There, I told you. I have told very few people that story in full until now.

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