Recently, after a big rain, I discovered a small leak in the basement of my home. For some time now, I had noticed that my driveway has had problems, but I had been told, by my wise neighbor, that it was a result of “normal settling”. That logic sounded good to me, as I somehow knew that a real “fix” would be very costly. So, I never had it evaluated by a professional. Now however, with the leak, I had an issue that demanded to be solved.
The house is beautiful, but over the years, rainwater has dumped out of the gutters, flowing into the driveway expansion cracks, causing erosion of the fill beneath. As a matter of cause and effect, what has gradually taken place as the dirt has washed away, is sinking and stress cracking of the concrete slabs.
The area abutting the house had “settled” about four inches, leaving some unsightly separation where the driveway meets the foundation of the house. Further, it had left the basement vulnerable to the elements. It was clear something needed to be done, for as long as time and weather persist, the driveway would continue to degrade, eventually resulting in a total loss.
As a temporary solution, two fifty-gallon barrels were used to divert the water, draining it harmlessly onto the road, putting an immediate stop to a large portion of the water and minimizing further erosion. A consult with an engineering firm led to a decision to have the driveway repaired. They lifted and leveled it up by drilling multiple small holes into the surface and filling the empty space underneath with a polyurethane foam that was designed to last a lifetime. The warranty states, if the driveway ever drops again, they will re-lift it back into the proper place.
The next step was to fill all of the expansion joints and cracks with a flexible sealant that would expand and contract with the temperature variations. This process requires much diligence, dedication and fortitude to complete.
First, I had to peel away previous efforts made with the wrong product, clear away the insects that had made their home in the cracks and fill with backer foam. Application is a slow and costly process. I learned as I went. I got better with experience, but errors were inevitable and those stains will remain. The product oozes into the crack, filling every crevice, making the driveway impermeable to water. The barrels are no longer needed because now, there is one solid surface, protected and sealed.
In the beginning, the product shined bright in the sun. Over time though, it begins to blend in with the color of the surrounding concrete. Dull as it may seem, it never loses its effectiveness, and with cleaning, its original luster is restored anew.
My life was like that…sunk and washed out. Sin had taken its toll. The tectonic plates of my existence not level; misaligned. Loved ones, recognizing my slow fade, intervened refusing to allow me to slip away. Jesus arrived and poked and prodded and reached down below the surface to reveal my emptiness and my need for forgiveness and repair. I eventually invited Him in, and as the Word of God poured into me, my heart was re-arranged by grace and gratefulness.
Often, prayer, solitude, fellowship and worship cause a fresh wind to blow, as I seek to abide in his presence. The world around me is messed up; the weather harsh. Yet, the Word lives on, unchanging, pliable and relevant, always moving me back into right thinking and right standing with my creator.