This post over at Knowledge House Academy got me reminiscing. I have had at least 6 auto situations where God has stepped in and taken care of us in amazing ways. One especially comes to mind, a story I don’t think I have ever told here but strangely enough ties in very much to where we are now.
It happened about 10 years ago around Christmas. I needed something at Walmart, about 5 minutes away and hopped in our tiny Doge Daytona taking Rachel with me. When I headed out the roads were fine and it was still light out. I probably spent more time there than planned because when we left the store the temperature had dropped and the snow was blinding. I knew how to drive in the snow so was not the least bit worried about the icy roads or the snow, I was concerned about my very sleepy baby and getting home before my husband began to worry.
Half way home, on a nice straight stretch with snow piled 3 feet high on either side just before a major hill, our front right tire blew out. We didn’t wreck but there was no place to pull off and I had no cell phone. I started praying desperately and pulled into the driveway of the only lighted house I could see. In tears I knocked at the door of the tiny pink house with a white fence around it all the while praying that the person behind the door was not a murderer or pervert and would be kind enough to let me use their phone and willing to let me wait inside with my very sleepy 1 year old while we waited for help to come (the temperature was 32 degrees and falling) .
Behind that door was the most wonderful, Christian couple. Myself a new Christian freshly baptized after leaving the Roman Catholic church, I was amazed at this spiritually mature couple. The wife took me in and fed me hot tea while I called my husband to let him know where I was. Her husband, who had recently had back surgery and was actually off work because he was still recovering went out in the snow and quickly dropping temperature to change my tire for me. It took over an hour before he managed it. While we waited inside she ooed and awed over my little one, chatted about their ministry to her son’s teenage friends and how they were currently home churching (shocking to my formerly Roman Catholic ears). I tried to convince her to join us at the church we attended right next door (which we left not long after) and was surprised that they disagreed with how things were done there, which were the same things we later ended up leaving over. She told me about some ministries I had never heard of and encouraged me to read the Bible and pray and together with my husband make decisions based on that, not on what ministries or our church told us.
They moved away not long after that, and then we moved as well, and I never ran into them again. Yet that discussion with her while her husband changed my tire opened my eyes to what Christian maturity could look like, beautiful, kind, encouraging, and hospitable, unafraid of what the outside world and even fellow Christians think, willing to be exactly where and when God has you. And looking back know, I realize that that conversation planted the seeds for our journey into home churching. It took us 8 years to get there but it is where God has us now and I believe He provided that unknown couple (I don’t remember their names or even what they looked like, just their little pink cottage with the white picket fence and the rather large dog) not only to help me on that cold , dark night when I needed help but also to show me another world, one which was beyond my imagining. A place world where “not going to church” is not a sin which you have to do penance for but a time of growing and learning, a time of rooting deeper into His word. A world where taking in a stranger is good and right and not a thing to be feared. A world where ministry doesn’t have to involve a church building but instead the people God sends your way.
And it occurs to me now that it must have take in a lot of faith for them to open the door to a perfect stranger and her baby, to change the tire right after back surgery instead of calling a tow truck (which we could not have afforded), to sit and chat with this baby Christian with her preconceived notions of what Christians should look like. And I just want to thank them by sharing this story with all of you, because I have no idea where they are or what they are doing and have no other way of sharing what a profound influence they had on me and my family.