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Carless -Day Twenty Four -Judgement Day

Half a block from our temporary home, after a long afternoon searching for a replacement place, a car blocked the street. I pulled our rental car to the curb, explaining to Amy that I’d go see what I might do to help. I’m nobody’s mechanic, but I could hear the knocking arrhythmia and see dismayed looks of the Sunday-suited people inside.

The driver spoke a broken, mumbling dialect I could barely understand. I think he was trying to get the engine to settle down before he tried to move the vehicle, but it was coughing and bucking. When he engaged the transmission, the engine died. After motioning another car around this beached whale, I suggested that he should coast the car to the curb because it didn’t seem like it was going to be going anywhere. It was busted.

Two young men piled out and the three of us pushed, helping back the carcass into a driveway and back out onto the steep downhill grade. The driver awkwardly coasted to the curb.

”Where are you going?” I asked. “I could give you a lift.”

Appreciative nods. They were headed to church. Because we’d rented a car for the weekend, I really could help. They weren’t going far, about ten minutes away by car and a millennium distant from our liberal enclave, down off our high, hilly ground to a Jehovah’s Witness Hall down on the swampy river bottom below.

As we started down the hill, the dead car’s driver noted that God was using me to help them. I think he said that he could have called his friends at church and they could have come to pick them up, but then they’d all miss their meeting. This way, they would all attend the service then deal with that car after.

I said it was my pleasure to be able to help, but he insisted that it didn’t matter whether I was pleased or not because God was using me. ... Fine, we’d small talk. ... He explained that a friend had borrowed his car to pick up family at the airport, loaning him the now dead car. How embarrassing.

As we pulled into the parking lot in front of their church, one of the young men in the back handed me a copy of Watchtower magazine, explaining that it features a fine piece on what will happen on Judgement Day. I thanked him, shaking hands as this smiling group exited the car to head inside.

I have no intention of reading their tract. I stuffed it into the recycling bin as I came into the garage back home. I already know what’s gonna happen on Judgement Day, and that today, like yesterday and like tomorrow, turns out to be Judgement Day. On that glorious day, I’ll encounter some inconvenience and get to choose my response. The beached whale’s driver said that one driver came up behind them stalled on our hill and simply started honking his car’s horn and screaming profanely, as if railing might remove the barrier. Such was that poor soul’s Judgement Day, and he chose to judge harshly.

On this Judgement Day, I chose generosity, which, while always a choice isn’t always the option I choose. Whether God’s hand or mine signed that rental car agreement might not matter. I had a pen handy so I signed my name on the forms. Whether God was using me or not, I was the one judging my performance. I’d been in a funky, hopeless mood all day and I really needed to get out of my head and back into my heart.

I think God smote that V6 oil-burner to provide my opportunity to save myself.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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