Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A teeny, tiny little slip of a miracle

Here's the thing. My wife was mired in one of her eleventy gazillion projects and it fell upon my shoulders, as The Dad, to take the two boys to a birthday party. The party happened to be in Ft. Lauderdale*. Since my wife was hauling stuff around, she needed the minivan, and therefore I stuffed those whom I had offsprung into my silly little sports car and headed out to the party. So far, so good. Up on I-95, about halfway there, I get sandwiched in a lane between two big ol' SUVs, both of which want to wander aimlessly into my lane. I opt to mash on the gas pedal and get away from these drivers, whom I consider as obvious a counter-argument to Darwinism as I can imagine.

Normally this results in the car going WAHHHHH-BWAHHHHHH and it fairly zooms to the horizon. But, in this case it just led to a teeny-tiny faint pop under the hood. Uh-oh.** But the car kept running, only it was low on power. I had a suspicion and hope of what it could be. While on the interstate, I could cruise along without too much trouble, but once back on surface streets, the car stalled.

What does this have to do with anything, I can hear you ask? (Stay with me here)

I pop the hood and look around. My hopes were confirmed, it was just a turbo hose that, when I accelerated, had just popped off. All that needed to get done was to lossen the hose clamp, put the hose back on and tighten the clamp and be off on my merry way. One catch...I need three (average adult-sized) hands to do this little bit of surgery. Having only the two, I was handicapped in my efforts. It was hot, I was sweating like OJ Simpson under oath, my hands were getting singed*** and I was officially Not Having Fun.

In fact, I was having so little fun I was fully prepared to speak to my engine using the sort of frank and vigorous language I would never use in front of a priest or religious**** when I caught sight of my children. (Since the a/c shust off when teh car stalls, I the windows were opened, and the slightest vocal expression of displeasure on my part would have been plainly audible) On the fly, I amended what I was going to say and instead of THAT I blurted out:

(follow me here)

"Mother of Mercy!"

Literally 3 seconds later, a guy in a minivan pulls up in front of me and says "You need help? I used to work on those Italian cars until I retired last year***** and I can give you a hand." He helped me position the hose thingy, tighten it and in 2 minutes my car was good as new. He even gave me a suggestion for a little jury-rig for making sure this never occurs again.

Seriously, this sorta stuff Just. Doesn't. Happen. That was divine intervention right there. This is unquestionable in my mind. Yes, it's a trivial little something BUT, if prayers for the smallest things are answered above and beyond our hopes, (and instantly!) how can we feel abandoned? How could we possibly lose faith? The whole thing left me rattled in a very good way. Not quite like touching the hem of His garment, but kind of like brushing up against one loose thread kinda hanging off the cuff of His cloak. I was speechless the whole party, save for explaining to people how 3 seconds after saying "Mother of Mercy!" I was sent the help I needed. Which, I guess, is my first episode of spontaneous evangelism. (If all of a sudden I start proclaiming the Good News in Swedish, or Dutch or Swahili, I'll let you know.)

Praise God,

-Joe

P.S. Thank you Lord (and thank you, Mary, for asking on my behalf!)

* Think of a drive from, say, Encino to Marina del Rey.

** A LOUD pop would have been ver-r-r-r-r-ry bad news, it would have meant a blown turbo and $$$$$$$ to fix.

*** Turbo engines get VERY hot.

**** In 8th grade I let something along these lines fly when I didn't see Sr. Agnes behind me and, well, let's just say the paramedics were worried for a while.

****** Seeing as how this is a car brand that has never sold 10,000 per year--this is less than what Chevy sells in a week--in the US, this is RIDICULOUSLY IMPROBABLE