Driving a “humble” car has its’ drawbacks
by Doug Lawrence
It’s a 1997 mini van with slightly more than 200,000 miles on the speedo and it stalled about eight blocks from church, right in the middle of the street. I checked all the usual stuff under the hood, to no avail. Now I was not only one big “sweat ball” – but also a “grease monkey” – and I would probably be late for Mass – if I got there, at all.
Looking up, I could barely make out the distant steeple of the church. Invoking the Holy Name of Jesus, I began to coast downhill – backwards – attempting to find a good place to pull over.
Things in the mirror are indeed closer than they appear. I missed the first turn by “t-h-a-t m-u-c-h”!
Now I was stuck against the curb and the entire street was blocked. A “Good Samaritan” helped me push it out and straighten things up. (It’s nice to be able to occasionally live the Gospel!)
Coasting downhill and backwards for another block or so, I managed to successfully turn on to a cross-street. Then I coasted downhill – going forward this time – until I could safely pull over and park.
I gave all the things under the hood another once-over; lightly rapping on the battery terminals with the end of a flashlight, jiggling all the fuses, wires and relays, making sure I had gas. Then I tried once again to start. No joy!
Already late for Mass – I was sure Jesus would understand, since I was just following Pope Francis’ suggestion – and I was indeed feeling “humbler” by the minute!
Then there was the small matter of the pulled ligament in my foot – which was already hurting from pushing the car. A brisk (now ten block) walk would be fun, and I could “offer it up” for the poor souls in Purgatory. Even “humbler” still!
Firing up my cell phone (a cheap, “humble” non-smart phone) I called my son, asking him to drive over after Mass – bringing along a spare battery, a good flashlight and all appropriate tools – including my most “humble” sledge hammer.
I walked in just as the Gospel was being proclaimed. A quick stop at the bathroom got rid of most of the grease, but I was still a big “sweat ball” and there was nothing much I could do about that. Sorry, Jesus!
I stood in the back until I cooled off and dried out a bit. Only then did I take a seat. Now I know why they call them “pews”.
I’m proud to say that, thanks to Pope Francis, I feel I’m getting really good at being “humble”. I’m just not yet sure how this makes evangelizing any easier, or more effective.
Maybe we can compare notes some time.