As you know from my prior posts, the last few weeks have been extremely difficult for me. The loss of my job, being down with a respiratory infection, wondering how in the hell I am going to pay my bills, eat and ultimately survive. It’s a scary thing if you’ve never been out of work before and you begin to question the point of everything in your life. My anxiety level has been through the roof and I have been living on Xanax in an attempt to keep myself from losing it – although I’ve come close a few times. But yesterday, something happened that put me over the edge and confirmed that there was in fact somebody out there throwing darts at a picture of my face.
I had to go up to the drugstore to pick up a prescription refill – I hadn’t been out of the house in three days so I figured it would do me some good – even if it was cloudy and rainy here in the South. I got in my car and as I backed out of the driveway I heard a loud snap in my right rear tire. Thinking I had simply rolled over a rock or large stick, I kept going. As I continued down the street, the clicking didn’t go away and started to sound like I had a flat tire. “Oh SHIT!” I thought as I pulled over and checked out the tires. All looked okay, no flats, so I got back in the car and started out again. But the noise was still there. I broke down crying in the car in the middle of the road, not caring that I was blocking traffic, listening to the horns honk at me as they passed.
Once I pulled myself together, I drove back home; with the luck I’ve had the last couple of weeks, I didn’t want to take any chances that I would increase whatever the problem was by driving it more.
When I got back home, I called the local Firestone, explained the problem and they told me to go ahead and bring it in. My brother came over and followed me up there and I explained the problem again in detail to the mechanic. I explicitly told him not to make any repairs until he called to inform me what was wrong. “I just lost my job,” I told him, “I have no money, and if this is going to be expensive I need to find some way to come up with the funds.” He assured me no repairs would be made without first speaking to me.
A few hours later, the mechanic called and said my car was ready. “The clicking sound is gone,” he said. Thinking it was nothing more than a rock or pebble in my hubcap, I asked what the problem was. “Well, your rear breaks were worn down and the rear rotors were corroded and had to be replaced.” I completely lost it, yelling that I specifically asked that no repairs be made without first speaking to me. “How in the hell am I going to pay for this?” I asked. “I need my car to get around! How am I going to get a job without a car?” The mechanic listened patiently, let me yell and cry and cuss – the poor guy must have thought I was a total nut job. After my venting rage, he calmly replied, “Ma’am, there’s no charge.” What? Did I hear right? Did something good actually happen? I couldn’t believe this man’s kindness and compassion – it overwhelmed me.
When I went to pick up my car I hugged the mechanic and cried (yes, again.) I thanked him so much for what he did and how much I appreciated this small gift among the cacophony of crap going on in my life. He smiled, said “no problem” and wished me luck. It was only when I got in my car that I noticed the invoice – this angel performed over $400 of work on my car and didn’t charge me a dime.
God works in mysterious ways, I know. And I know that my timeline is not his, and he has a plan for me, etc. But everyone once in awhile he sends a reminder that he is with me and that the way my life is now is not the way it will always be. Who knew my reminder would be in the form of gray-haired man missing a front tooth, wearing glasses and a grease-covered Firestone shirt? If he is out there and reading this – you gave me a gift I can never repay – Faith.