My Pearl in My Christmas Week Troubles
I sincerely hope your Christmas week went smoothly for you. However, even if it didn’t, you are still loved and understood – by God. If you look for it there is a pearl hidden in that oyster of pain or disappointment.
Want to hear how I know that from personal experience?
As I said in my Christmas letter, my friend Shirley and I planned to put on a Christmas dinner (afternoon) for our single friends who have no place to go to be with family and friends on Christmas Day. She’d reserved the dining room in the building where she lives, and I had agreed to prepare my share of the food.
I’d made a big crockpot of stuffing and it had been warming all night. I would start this at 9:30 and that at 10 and so on… At 11:45 I expected to be loading the car and heading over to Shirley’s to set up for our guests. I got a little behind as I found packing boxes and bags with insulation to load all the food, but I went out to start the car at 12:15 – (SIGH!) But it would not start!
I came inside to call the CAA hoping for a quick boost. But that day our temperatures were something like -38, and the windchill made it feel like -44 Celsius. I heard later on the news that over 500 people had called the CAA.They were backlogged!
I notified Shirley and waited. It was not quite the hour that I’d been told. The man with the tow truck arrived in about 45 minutes. But he could NOT start my car.
Finally, we both gave up and I phoned Shirley, who sent out Wayne to come pick me up with my load of packed hot foods. We had planned to start at 1 pm but we began eating at 2 pm. There were 11 or 12 of us around the 3 joined tables. We had a good afternoon, with a chance to share the most meaningful or special thing of our past year, and then a carol sing around a piano.
I wanted to go to a certain funeral on Wednesday morning, so I felt I had to get the car working on Tuesday. Again I called the CAA, and a man came out – eventually. (Another cold and busy day for CAA). This fellow was able to start the battery and told me to leave the car running for an hour and I’d be fine. I asked him to hook up my trickle charger to help. When I came out an hour later, it was deader than a doornail. I checked each cord plugin, including the breakers for the outside electrical line. When I came out just before dark to try the car there was faint squeaks as the starter made a feeble effort.
This was an older, more experienced man, and he had a gizmo that told him in a minute that my block heater was toasted. (dead). By him pressing down on certain parts under the hood, (my actual car battery is under the rear seat), and with me trying over and over to start the car, we got it to catch fire! Yah!
He said that it would be better for me to back the car out of my tent garage than for him to tow it backwards, and if the car should keep running I should head on towards the Atomic Auto shop where I usually take the car, and he would follow me to make sure I got there okay. That worked! The car crept slowly at 10-20 km/hr but I got there safely and the tow truck driver waved and was off.
This Auto shop is the head office for the Yellow cabs and some limousine service too, but they always give me gracious attention and usually a discount too. They got my car into the service bay before it died, and after a while they came into the desk area to say that I would need a new battery and a new block heater. Apparently, extreme cold temperatures can force an older, weaker battery into a crisis like this.
Torrance, the desk man is a big, tall Ukrainian fellow, friendly and well-mannered, and he was listening to Ukrainian Christmas carols via the computer. He cheerfully admitted that yes, he was looking forward to his second Christmas on Jan. 6. Once they knew the diagnosis, he offered to take me home with his truck on his lunch break. He was going home to tend to a new puppy anyway. His truck was so high off the ground that I had to take 3 or 4 jumps to get into it. (New experience for me).
Later, after 4 pm he called to say my car was ready and he would come to pick me up. (Other times of the year I have walked over as it is only 8-9 blocks, but at our extreme temps last week, Torrance wouldn’t hear of it, and came to pick me up with his truck. Again I had to make several jumps before I could get in. (For his size, he just stepped into it the way I get into my car).
Now here’s where the miracle punchline comes in. On Sunday I had received a gift check for $500 that I was not expecting. So I’d been thinking that maybe I should go shopping for some new electronics on Boxing Day. Of course, I had no way of going shopping on Tuesday, so I had not spent it. Now my bill came to $486. and some change. I saw again that God had answered my need before I was even aware of it!
Yes, this kind of thing has happened a number of times before! It makes me feel well loved and cared for by my Heavenly Father! There really was a pearl in my Christmas week troubles!
By the way I enjoyed a toasty warm car and safe driving on Sunday, even making a trip to visit a friend in Warman who has had surgery on her feet and is wheelchair bound.