A struggling couple had no money to repair the failed electrical wiring in their home. But, a man they hardly knew worked tirelessly to fix it for free. Later, he returned for what he believed was a routine inspection. Little did he know, he was being lured back to the property with something else in mind.
Stacy and Josh Lemonds of Oklahoma City returned home on a chilly evening only to realize their heat wasn’t working. After noticing that their house was cooler than it should have been, Stacy checked the thermostat. “It was a blank screen,” she recalled. But, the issue was much worse than she initially realized.
The couple had noticed lights flickering for years in their home, which was built in 1945. Several outlets never worked either. But, they had no idea how big of an issue they had. It was so bad, in fact, that weathering some chilly nights simply wouldn’t be an option. And, they had other problems, too. They were broke.
With Stacy and Josh both out of work, they had no money to even get the issue looked at let alone any funds to cover repairs, KFOR reported. Feeling out of options, they turned to their faith. “We started praying,” Stacy said. The couple asked others to pray too. After contacting their church marriage group, asking for prayer, they got the answer they had been hoping for almost immediately.
A man they barely knew responded to their prayer request. His name was Joshua Matthews, and he worked as an apprentice with Dane Electric. A few weeks earlier, Stacy and her husband had taken meals to the Matthews’ home while Joshua’s wife was sick. Little did they know at the time, their selfless act of compassion would soon be returned.
Responding to Stacy and Josh’s prayer request with a text, Joshua told the couple he was an electrician and only lived minutes away. He offered to come over and look at their issue. But, Joshua wouldn’t have good news. He quickly found some big problems and needed to get Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) involved.
When OG&E came out, they pulled the meter and informed the couple that they had a fire hazard on their hands. It was so bad, the utility company couldn’t allow the Lemonds to have electricity until the wiring was fixed and inspected. Luckily, Joshua wasn’t going to leave them hanging. Other church friends paid for the couple to stay in a hotel while Joshua and Christian Harbison, another electrician from Dane Electric, tackled the repairs.
The two men spent several days and nights at the Lemonds, often working well past midnight, to replace corroded wires in the home and get it back up to code. “We sat out in the car in the rain, watching him,” Stacy said. “I just didn’t want him to hurt himself because he was going up those aluminum ladders, and I didn’t want him to slip and fall in the dark,” she added. “He’s just an amazing friend and a servant of God, he’s really a servant.”
Joshua Matthews and Dane Electric completed the project, not charging the Lemonds a single penny. But, Stacy and Josh weren’t done with the selfless electrician just yet. Using the guise of a “reinspection,” Joshua was lured back to the residence. As he entered the home, he was surprised by Heather Holeman with Oklahoma’s News Channel 4, and he was about to get more than just an interview.
With the help of First Fidelity Bank, a tearful Stacy Lemonds presented Joshua Matthews with a $400 Pay It 4Ward award. Of course, the selfless man tried to decline the gift. “You don’t have to do this,” Joshua said. But, Stacy insisted that he accept it as a token of their appreciation, thanking and hugging the man who helped get her lights back on.
“It’s just what anyone should do,” he humbly replied. And, it’s not surprising that Joshua Matthews so readily stepped up to serve those in need. As a soldier who’s completed two tours in Afghanistan, he is used to giving his all for others. Just as he served his country, he serves his community now that he’s home.
Joshua gave the Lemonds more than just a brighter future with their brand new electrical wiring. “It’s been humbling, but it’s also been an amazing experience to see people love — just love because they love, and just give,” Stacy said, smiling. “Thankfully, today, I get to give back a little bit, and that’s just amazing to me that I can pay it forward.”
Indeed, Joshua Matthew’s kind gesture has shown a light on so much more than just the Lemonds’ home. The kindness, compassion, and willingness to help others, which both Joshua and the Lemonds showed one another, reminds us all that what goes around, comes around — and thankfully, that goes for kindness too.