My son Daniel had taken over driving duties at Blythe, Ca as we headed to Newport Beach to attend a birthday party for Jean and Jane, the twins. My eldest did not have all that much driving experience, but with miles of straight concrete and little to distract in the desert I felt confident that we would get quite a ways down the road before I took the wheel again.
I might have closed my eyes just a tiny bit but I was immediately wide awake as my hearing was assailed by a repetitive banging coming from the right rear of the car. We were in the left lane and doing 75 MPH heavy traffic. Daniel’s eyes were the size of silver dollars as he croaked “We have no power.”
That’s when God took over.
All lanes of traffic to the right of us became vacant of vehicles. Daniel was able to coast the car to the right breakdown lane. Almost as soon as we got all the way to the right a small overpass bridge abutment was in our path. Daniel was able to steer around it, and we were still coasting at a pretty good clip.
We made for the nearest exit and found ourselves on a quiet little street in a typical just off the freeway neighborhood. There was a young guy about 25 just standing there where we came to a stop. He asks if we need help. So he and I push as Daniel steers. We go about 50 yards, turn right and into the parking lot of a furniture store. The stranger has to go so I give him 20 dollars.
As we examine the car we see the right rear tread has uncoiled from the tire and is lying on the asphalt like a loose tank track.
The car won’t start and it’s about 2 P.M on a Saturday afternoon.
Looking around I spy a Toyota dealership just east one parcel.
I tell Daniel to stay with the car as I go look for some help.
The dealership is void of customers. In fact one salesman is manning the entire lot. We greet each other, and I ask him if they have a service department, and is it open. Yes, he says. It’s just up the hill about a half mile. Thanking him I head up the hill.
As I approach the service drive one agent is on duty. Again, the greeting and my inquiry about a mechanic. Yes, there is a mechanic on duty. He escorts me into the cavernous bay of the garage. We find the lone mechanic sitting in the engine compartment of a Toyota Pickup. He immediately gets off of his perch and they put us in a new Toyota and he drives me back to my Ford.
He takes an all encompassing look and has me pop the hood. We crank the engine. Engine don’t come to life, just wearing out the battery and the starter. So he scratches his chin and says. Some of these vehicles have an automatic fuel shutoff in the rear. So if you get hit it keeps you from becoming a ball of fire. We open the trunk, he pulls down the padding on the inside right rear, and sure enough the whatchamacallit is kerflammined.
He says the magic words “presto-chango” and the engine now comes back to life.
And he adds, “There is a tire store across the street.” I’m already a little giddy from all these amazing coincidences, but I figure Gods in command why not enjoy the scenery?
We drive across the street to the tire store with our tank tread still flopping and slappin the right rear corner panel. As we pull up I notice it is a ten bay store and nine of the bays are full. Laborers are running around, steam is issuing from tire tanks, people are yelling. In short it looks like we just arrived in Hell’s kitchen. Daniel stays with the car and I go looking for the service desk. I find a counter elevated about two feet above the deck and it is surrounded by customers, tire techs, and who knows who. As I get within six feet of this cacophonous, raucous mass there opens to me a view of the single guy manning the desk. He points right at me and says, “Can I help you?”
Everything is pretty much a blur from that point on. To summarize: They had the exact same tire that matched the other tires, they had it mounted, balanced, and installed by the time my credit card cleared at 3 P.M.
Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.