George Bowers Sr.: Hidden leaks cause visible problems

George Bowers Sr.

George Bowers Sr.

A few months back, I noticed a spot that looked strange on the drywall in our basement. As I began to investigate, I found that instead of being dry and hard, it was damp and spongy. I was more than a little alarmed and initiated a call to a contractor to come check it out. After careful examination, we discovered that a large section of the drywall had become moist and was even starting to mold in certain places. When we pulled out the stove, the entire section of wall was clearly affected and repairs were quickly scheduled.

Initially, I thought the water had come from an outdoor faucet that had sprung a leak due to freezing or mechanical damage, but the contractor believed the culprit was a vent on the exterior wall just above the affected area. After removing the cabinets and drywall, however, we found that we were both wrong. When the cabinets were hung in our basement seven years ago, the installer had inadvertently screwed them into the drainpipe of our upstairs sink instead of the neighboring stud. Because the water was not pressurized, there wasn’t an immediate spray or constant leak, but whenever we drained the sink or used the dishwasher, water came out of the several holes and the damage increased even though we were unaware of it for several years.

Upon this discovery, we immediately suspended the use of everything that drained into that pipe until this could be fixed. Thankfully, our contractor was able to remove all the affected materials, dry out the entire area, and restore the kitchen acceptably. Also, thankfully, since our policy was paid up, our homeowners’ insurance covered the bill less our deductible.

But the lesson was clear. Little problems, even hidden and out of sight, can cause major damage. Many times we think our secret sins are of little or no consequence. Because we hide our pornography or drug use, we believe all is well. Our small thefts from employers, our concealed bitterness toward others, or our stealthy pride seem insignificant and harmless. But little by little, like the leaks in our drainpipe, the sin seeps into our soul and rots us from the inside out. It’s only a matter of time until it inevitably “comes through the wall” and becomes obvious to others.

Even though no one knew of the hidden openings in our drainpipe, most of us are fully aware of the holes in our integrity. Let us invite the master builder to get into our hearts, tear out whatever needs to be removed, and replace it with his leak-proof, certified life-building materials. Thankfully, it won’t cost us financially since he already paid the price on the cross, but we do need to admit our sins, turn from them, and invite him in to work. Even though he’s busy working in the lives of many others with similar issues, he doesn’t put us on a waiting list. When we ask, he goes to work immediately to fix, repair, and restore us completely. Let’s examine our lives for those hidden leaks and invite the Savior in to fix them before they cause further damage to both ourselves and to others.

Blessings, George

George Bowers Sr. is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, “Wit and Wisdom of the Woods.” He can be reached at

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