Jesus and the Tow Truck

19Apr09

I never call my mother on Sundays unless, by some miracle, I have managed to drag my lazy butt to church. Even though, I am by all accounts an adult and am a mother myself, I still can’t bear to hear the disappointment in her voice when she asks, “How was church this morning?” knowing full well that I slept in till noon. As silly as it may be, I don’t dial her number on Sundays unless I am fully capable of reciting the sermon’s five points and rememer exactly how many people came forward during the alter call.

For the past year, going to church has been like visiting an emotional minefield for me. I’ve found myself at odds with God on more than one occasion. I’ve had a lot to be pretty pissed off about. Never the less, I was able to call my mother on Palm Sunday.

At our church, the children stay with their parents in the service up until the sermon begins and then they are taken to their classes. Palm Sunday is my kids’ favorite service since Jesus actually rides down the aisle on a donkey. This year, due to a decline in the economy resulting in decreased church tithing, the donkey was MIA and my daughter noticed.

“Mom, where’s the donkey?” Canaan asked as she strained to see over the balcony rails.

I shifted my son, Will, to my other hip. “I guess he’s not going to make it this year, kiddo,” I answered.

“What about the cross? Are they still going to put Jesus up on the cross with all the blood?” she asked.

I shrugged my shoulders. “I guess we’ll find out next week.”

“What’s next week?” my son asked.

“Next week, Jesus will die on the cross and then he will come back to life,” my daughter answered. I beamed proudly.

Will pondered this for a moment. “Mom, is my dad gonna come back to life?”

At that moment I realized I should’ve stayed at home in bed. How on earth do you explain the death, burial and resurrection of Christ to a 3 year old and a 5 year old who have witnessed the burial of their daddy? Rather than answer, all I could do was cry. Thankfully, Will didn’t ask again that morning and Canaan didn’t hear his question.

Life has definitely kept on moving since my husband’s accident and for the most part we are doing OK, but some days are just simply HARD. Palm Sunday was one of them. When service ended we made a bee-line to the car. I was still a nervous wreck. However wrong it may be, I wanted to put a million miles between me and the donkey-less Jesus at the big church on the hill. I turned the key of my faithful SUV and nothing happened. I tried again and still nothing. I dropped my head with a thud on the steering wheel.

“Car’s dead, huh Mom?” Canaan asked.

I turned angry eyes toward the sky. “You’re joking, right?” I nearly shouted at the heavens.

Four people tried to diagnose, fix and/or jump start my engine. Nothing happened. We were stranded in the parking lot. After a quick phone call to my closest friends, we were saved and whisked away to their nearby home.

For those of you who don’t know, I have the World’s Greatest Boyfriend who unfortunately lives 300 miles away. (Lovingly, I will refer to him as the WGBF.) Not only does he drive, live and breathe cars – he just makes me feel better, so I called him as soon as I was safely away from my offending vehicle. Immediately, he picked up on the misery in my voice and when he asked what was wrong, I lost it. By the end of the conversation I was barely able to keep my voice even. He didn’t know what to say and in true man-style, he stuttered about needing to go and calling me later. Immediately after hanging up, he called right back promising that my day would get better and to try not to be so sad. Gotta love him. J

I’m a very stubborn and self-sufficient woman, but on that day I just wanted to throw myself a pity party, drink wine and cry about my broken car. Two hours into my pity party the WGBF’s face popped up on my caller ID again. “I’ll be there in five hours. I’m bringing you a car and taking the SUV home with me to the shop.”

“You’re what?”

“Babe, I can’t do a lot of things for you, but this I can take care of. I won’t be able to stay because I have to be at work at 8AM, I hope that’s OK,” he explained.

My mouth was hanging open. I tried to protest but to no avail. He was already on the road. “Just please do me a favor and clean all your crap out of it before I get there. While I have it, I’m having it ripped apart and detailed. Babe, it drives me crazy.”

(I’m sort of notorious for having cheerios and cheetos crushed in my car seats. I have kids!)

Just before midnight, he met me in the church parking lot with a shiny new minivan. “I hope it doesn’t cramp your style too bad,” he apologized with a wink.

He loaded my SUV on the back of his tow truck and popped its hood. Less than thirty seconds later, the engine roared to life without a problem. Even though his back was turned, I could tell from the convulsions of his body that he was laughing. He turned with a finger pointed at my horrified face, “Don’t you dare cry on me. I came all this way to make you happy again.”

The past year has been rough to say the least. I don’t write about it much in my blogs because long ago I promised to not regularly depress the hell out of all of you that stop by. I write this today because during this Holy Week I learned a valuable lesson.

God can handle my sadness. God can handle my stress and frustration. God can handle my ANGER. He is still faithful to never leave or forsake me, even when I throw up the invisi-bird and walk away.

Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.

Sometimes Jesus comes on a donkey. Someday He will come again on the clouds.

And sometimes when He knows we’re really upset… Jesus sends a tow truck.

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One Response to “Jesus and the Tow Truck”

  1. this made me tear up on your behalf. im sorry for your loss and i can only imagine how hard its been with the little ones. i could only imagine the sadness in the gravity of your son’s questions.

    but despite that its nice to know that sometimes God gives us clear signs even though he mostly likes the subtle approach i think. your BF’s timing and actions couldnt have been more wonderful. i almost cried because of how thoughtful the gesture was.

    definitely happy for days we get a tow truck 🙂


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