Thursday, February 4, 2010

Three Men and a Car. One Girl and a Baby.

I stuck the key in the ignition, turned it. Nothing. Again, this time pushing in the brake. Nothing.

"Come on, Mirabelle," I begged, "please don't die on me again!" Nothing.

So I growled at my grouchy-old-lady-of-a-car and walked back up to the N's front door. I rapped on the glass and listened to the dogs howl. After a moment, Rodney came to the door, holding a half-dressed Hunter.

"Um, do you know anything about cars?" I asked. "'Cause mine's dead."
"Yes, I do," he answered, and handed me the baby.

While I made silly faces at Hunter, Rodney jumped my car. It started, so I figured that would be it and I'd just go on, but he said it might be the alternator, not the battery, that was messed up, and that he'd try to figure it out. He knew a trick. Honestly, I'm not really sure what he did--something about unattaching a cord (or was it a screw?) and try to start the car. It started, which apparently meant we needed to go to Discount Auto to have it tested.

I finished changing Hunter and got him all ready to go in his carseat. Then we piled in to Mirabelle and we were off! When we got to the store, Rodney went inside and I climbed into the backseat to play with baby. A few minutes later, Rodney opened the door and said:

"Bad news, it's the alternator."
"Good news, I'm going to replace it right now."

Then he disappeared into the store again. A moment later, he re-emerged pushing a cart of tools. By this point, Hunter was pretty tired of being in the car. So we climbed over Noelle's booster seat and into the fresh air. Thankfully, Hunter is an incredibly happy baby. He smiled and laughed and played with his ladybug without a fuss.

I watched Rodney screw and wrench and unplug and replug and pull things out and stick things in. When he pulled out the old alternator, I asked him how much an alternator costs.

"Don't worry about it," he said.
"No really, how much?"
"I'll take care of it."
"Oh no, I couldn't let you do that for me!"
"Really, it's no problem," he insisted.
"I have money, I can pay for it," I insisted.
"You're a poor college student. I've got it covered."

He won. Thank you, thank you, thank you! What an incredible blessing. I can hardly believe it. This family has already showered so many blessings upon me--and I've only known them a few weeks! God provides in such beautiful ways.

Once that was settled, Rodney continued working. Every now and then Brian, an employee, would come out and give him a hand. Everything was going great until they tried to attach the Serpentine belt. This belt has to be pulled through six different pulleys, and they couldn't get it to stretch taught.

Behind us, the store door opened and swung shut. A young black man, boxers hanging out and tag on hat, sauntered out. Glancing at the two men bending under the hood, he sauntered (that's really the only word to use) over to them and said, "Need some help?" Without waiting for an answer, he rolled up his pure-white sleeves and stuck his hands in the enginer (er, alternator) grease. A moment later, the Serpentine belt was looped as it was supposed to be.

"There you go," he said, and was gone. He was an angel. Really, I bet he was.

And so my car was fixed.


  1. Woah! Incredible!
    I feel like I haven't talked to you in forever, since your phone isn't working. He can't fix those, too, can he?

  2. Lord, BLESSINGS on boxer-tag-hat man. Blessings on him!

    And blessings on men who buy alternators for starving students.

    And blessings on workers who come out from behind the counter because they actually care.

  3. P.S. You're a very RICH, ALMOST college student now.
    In another semester you'll fit his description.