I don’t do community very well.
Mostly, it is the fiercely independent “I-can-do-it-myself” attitude that ensnares me. The stench of pride; not wanting to be needy so badly I can hardly ask anyone for anything. Somehow I’ll figure it out.
And then my Monday-like-no-other.
I woke up feeling like I was balancing on the verge of grumpiness. It had been a long weekend of backpacking in the Allegheny National Forest; a fun weekend with my husband and friends. Mounds of dirty, smelly laundry later…a lingering croupy cough…not feeling the energy to get-up-and-go.
I left the house early enough to stop at the bank before getting to my sister’s house. I was going to help her paint, after my doctor appointment, but I needed to see if I could get an edge on my 2-week-old cough first.
The car engine wouldn’t even turn over. It didn’t sputter.
I felt very small.
What would Ryan do in this situation?
I tried to think.
Nothing worked and the clock was swallowing precious minutes, an ominous countdown till I needed to be sitting in the doctor’s office thirty-minutes away.
I called Ryan, who hadn’t left for work yet, and my hero man came running to the rescue. He talked with his dad and Amos, a man from our church, and the two men came to help. They gave up hours in their workday.
I was sitting on the curb, hacking in the breeze, wishing I could halt the time…nervous and stressed and frustrated.
Ryan’s mom came for me. She dropped her morning plans and schedule, to rescue me from the curb and bring me to my sister’s house. It took at least an hour out of her morning.
My sister handed me the key to her car and let me use some of her gas to drive frantically to my appointment.
The receptionist at the down-home clinic I use, graciously moved my appointment so I could be on-time and wouldn’t have to pay a late fee.
Amos, from church, helped my husband fix the car for two hours and wouldn’t let Ryan pay him anything for his time.
I had sat alone in my car, before help, and rested my forehead on the steering wheel of the car and texted… Trying to find grace in a broken-down car… because God wasn’t answering my prayers to make the car start.
I feel extravagantly humbled.
God didn’t supernaturally start my car on my Monday-like-no-other. Instead, he used my broken vehicle as a conduit of His grace, pouring and lavishing His mercy and love over me…calling my heart to the grace of community.