Saturday, April 5, 2014

So much more than a car

It sat there in front of my house virtually shining in the cool, spring sunshine. It was one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen--not because of what is was physically but because of what it meant. This 1999 Saturn with hail damage, a tricky ignition, crank down windows, and no power locks was beautiful because God was in how it came to be ours.

I was willing to buy it. They were asking the price that fit in my budget—under what I’d been given by insurance to total out my late-husband’s car at Christmas when another car slid into it. Jaime, a friend, had heard about this car from a woman in her Bible study. The asking price of $1,500 was perfect for my son’s first car. I’m a firm believer everyone’s first car and first apartment should be a little bit dumpy. Then you can move up from there. You have something to appreciate. And, if something happens to it, it’s not that big of a deal.

When Jaime told them about our loss, about Kraig’s death, they changed their minds. They told her there would be no charge. They wanted to honor God by caring for this family going through so much. I wept when she told me. She wept when she told me. Jarod’s car would be free.

When this kind man, this brother in the faith, called to tell me he would be bringing it by in a week, I asked, “Are you sure?” He didn’t hesitate, “Yes. We are sure. We want to do this.” And then he went on to tell me it had snow tires on it and he’d be including four “summer” tires and two extras he just happened to have. I tried to protest that he could sell these but he would hear none of it. He and his wife wanted to do this. They also wanted to give us the name and number of the mechanic who had serviced it over the years. This man was willing to help us out and even show Jarod how to make minor repairs as they came up.

Jaime is my friend who took my hand and looked me in the eyes the day after Kraig died and assured me God would take care of us. She was gifted that day with supernatural faith to trust the impossible was simple for God. I’m thrilled she got to be part of this miracle.

As I’ve moved this week past the seven month mark since he died, the grief still appears sometimes. The kids too still have days when it comes unexpectedly and erodes the sand beneath their feet, temporarily knocking them off balance--but only for a moment. It is getting more infrequent which is good, healthy. Life is going on.

I’m trying to de-clutter and prep our house to put on the market which is hard. What of his things am I ready to part with? What takes my breath away? I need to get projects finished and a kitchen repainted (yuck). And I need to decide what to pack up and what can stay put until we know for sure we’ve got a better home to call ours.

I’ve wrestled a bit with the seemingly insurmountable task of finding a house I will be able to afford in a safe neighborhood that will fit my ever-growing children. It seems impossible I will be able to find something. And then this car appears reminding me nothing is impossible for the God who provides for our needs. God, who tells his followers in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress….” God is sending His people to help care for us when I have no idea how I’ll take care of what’s next.

This is true religion. This is God’s people in action, getting it right. That is why what sits in front of my house today is so much more than a car.

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