It’s tedious.  Removing calcium deposits from pool tile at the water line.

Our pool’s never been cleaned, so three tiles at the water line had to be scraped and scrubbed.

Doing a 20 by 40 foot pool with a hand scraper is like an ant sized dental hygienist cleaning your teeth.

A pumice stone polishes off the remnants, but that hard crusty stuff, it only comes off with scrapes, scratches and scrubs.

It’s not hard.  Just need elbow grease and patience, one tile at a time. 

It’s taken 50 + hours of painstakingly slow work, with maybe 3 more to go.

Saturday, from 3:00 to 8:00 PM, I stood on a ladder in the deep end scraping and scratching. To help pass time, I turned on the stereo inside to play a stack of seven CDs through the patio speakers.

Just music. No words. New England Leaves. Celtic Ocean. Classic Piano.

The last CD, Under The Western Sky, was soft cowboy songs on guitars and fiddles that started playing about 6:30 PM.

It played seven or eight times before I realized the very last song, What a Friend, was hung.  I guess the CD is scratched, but it skips back one minute and replays the verse. And then reprise, again, and again.   

It was so irritating. The same tune, same verse, regurgitated, over and over and over! 

I kept thinking Janet would walk out. Maybe she could hit the skip button inside, or just restart the whole stack.

The verse just kept replaying, repeating while I stood in water scraping the pool.

Over and over it played.

Reprise. Reprise.

I suppose I could have spent 5 minutes to get out, dry off and go change it inside, but my nip and tuck goal was to make it to the corner by dark. So instead, I just stayed neck deep in water on the ladder doing my pool dental hygienist work.

Reprise. But the verse repeating itself was driving me bonkers.

Scrape, scrape.


After twenty more minutes of reprise, the irritation faded. In fact, words to the tune began popping in my head. I found myself singing the verses inside with each reprise.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear…

Reprise to the beginning of the verse.

Then, another reprise.

The words kept coming.

Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear…


Scratch, scrape, scrape.


All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer…

The more the verse played, the more the words spoke.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer…

Scrape, scratch, scratch.


Out of the blue it hit me! Emotion, a deep, stirring emotion.

My heart! My heart was like the hard crusty tile I was cleaning!

The words settled in. They began scraping, scratching at my hard heart.

Scratch, scrape the pool tile with my tool.


Scratch, scrape my heart with the song.  

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?

I felt it.


I felt it.

Rewind. Remember.


Review. Reflect.

Scratch, scrape, reprise.

Regret. Repent.


Revive. Restore. Renew.

Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer...

And so it continued.

Until about an hour later when Janet came out.

Still standing on the ladder in the deep end.

Still scraping tiles.

Still scrubbing my heart.

The tiles were brighter, cleaner.

And my heart, definitely softer. 

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there...

Reprise. Reprise.


25 thoughts on “Reprise”

  1. Great story! God is so intentional! I picture Him, so patient, letting that calcium build and looking forward to the day when He’d meet you on the ladder in the pool! What an amazing God!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful post. Sometimes the Creator leads us down a path we need to be led down but we are not even aware we are on a path at all. Good work on the pool tiles and on your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Jeff, wonderful words, nice to see you again. Somewhere along the line I lost track of you and your post. I was glad to see your like today as it brought my back to your words. Thank you Jeff, I am putting you in my favorites so I don’t lose it again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My sister’s pool in MS was sand with a liner. The liner sprung a leak underneath and washed out the sand. She’ll be 80 in a few months and I doubt if they will ever get it fixed. Your message is a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

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