I needed a reminder. I’d been wallowing in self pity for a day or so. Got a bit depressed because I’ve been stuck in the house for four days straight, and was a bit frustrated at my progress in the direction I am now moving in.
One of the changes I’ve been making is reviewing and updating my sites. I actually want to combine them into one, and I’m trying to make sure that my text is all consistent and my content relevant to my stated purpose here. You know, i’s dotted and t’s crossed.
I guess I needed the reminder of this particular incident that happened several years ago. It definitely caused me to reevaluate my present state of mind. My baby brother was still with us at that time, and this was one of those beautiful occasions that demonstrated his wonderful heart. I truly miss his presence, but am so grateful for the time we had.
I had taken my car to my mechanic to get the brakes done because I was hearing some pretty loud squeaking sounds. When my mechanic checked the brakes, the only ones that appeared to need changing was the front brakes, and even those still had padding on the brake pads. He was saying that I really didn’t need to change them yet, but I told him I didn’t like the shushing squeak.
He looked at the back brakes, but didn’t see any problem with those, so we did nothing with them. He did tell me that I’d probably have to change the rotors, but since I didn’t have the money for it then, he said there was no rush on it, since we changed the brake pads. After he changed the front brake pads, I left. They were fine at first, but then I began to hear that shushing sound again. So I called him and mentioned that it still sounded to me as if the brakes were grinding on the rotors, to which he said, “Impossible. I know we changed the brakes. The brakes are good. Don’t worry about it.”
A month or so passed, and I was still hearing this shushing grinding sound. Finally, two weeks ago, I just got a feeling, you know? I just became concerned that something was really wrong, because the sound had gotten a lot louder, and it really sounded like grinding…hard grinding. So I passed by the mechanic’s shop and spoke to him, telling him that I just had a bad feeling about the rotors, and that I really felt like they needed to be changed, but I had no money.
My mechanic told me not to worry, because my rotors weren’t that bad, and the brakes were new. He said that I could wait until the brakes wore out, and then change it all at once, so I didn’t need to worry about coming up with the money right away. I said, “Ok,” and left. That was two weeks ago.
That Wednesday, I was leaving my house, and as I drove slowly up my street; I was approaching the stop sign on the corner, and hit the brakes. Now I had been driving around quite a bit for that day already with no problems, but when I hit the brakes then, the pedal went all the way to the floor, and the car didn’t appear to be slowing down. I freaked out and quickly began to pump the brakes, and it slowed and stopped. It was especially frightening because this vehicle, a Mercury Grand Marquis, is considerably larger and heavier than any of the cars I’ve had previously, and the thought of being unable to stop in such a large vehicle really scared me.
After taking a deep breath, I slowly turned the corner to go to the next stop sign in my neighborhood. As I approached that sign, the same thing happened again when I hit the brakes. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous by this time, so I immediately called my mechanic, who told me to drive the car to him.
He had one of his guys check the brakes, and he confirmed that the front end was just fine. He started to check the back end, and as he put his hand under the driver’s side rear tire, all this fluid came out all over his hand. “The calipers are shot,” he told me. Then he pulled off the tires and the rotors and looked at everything. He showed my mechanic, who told me that I could not drive the car in this condition. It was too dangerous.
“Well, I’ve got to go and get my son from school,” I said. Then he told me that not only were the calipers shot, but the rotor on my driver’s side was paper thin, and could break at any sudden stop or hard press on the brakes. On top of that, he showed me the rotors. The one on the driver’s side had a groove ground into it, that was an inch thick. The passenger side rotor, which was a lot thicker, had two grooves ground into it of the same dimensions.
The reason they never saw this on the rotors previously, is because the inside brake pads were where this was happening, so it was not visible on the outside when they took off the tires originally to look at the brake pads two months ago. They would have had to dissemble the entire rotor from the car in order to have seen this damage.
So there I was sitting in the mechanic’s office, and we were both trying to figure out what to do. I told him that any time I come and say I feel concerned about something more than once, is a good sign that there is something serious going on, because I get warnings from above. The mechanic wanted to help me and take care of this problem, but he said he was not in a position to do so, having just paid his mortgage, and rent for the shop and so forth. I had no money to do the repairs, so we sat there thinking and trying to find a solution.
“What about your mother?” he asked me.
“I can’t go to her. She’s just barely making ends meet herself.”
“What about your brother?”
“My brother is married with 2 autistic children and a new baby. I can’t trouble him. He has his family and his own issues to deal with.”
So there we sat. Both of us sighed a deep sigh, and then I got up and told him there was nothing I could do. He told me that I could not drive the car, and I said I would have to park it, but that today, I had to get my son first, because he had no bus pass, nor any money to catch a bus.
They put everything back together, and he told me to drive very slowly, keeping a big distance between me and other cars, and to brake from a big distance away. I managed to go to my church to ask if I could speak to someone in Benevolence, but they told me that I would need to come back to service tonight, because Benevolence was only open after service.
I picked up my son, and went to church. As I was sitting there, listening to Pastor Jerry, I got another feeling that came over me. This time it was a feeling of assurance. It was done. God took care of it, and I just knew it was done. I began to question whether or not I really needed to go to Benevolence after all, except maybe for a grocery gift card, but I was instructed to go and tell them everything…the entire need; so I went.
I spent a long time with the two counselors, not (as I told them) because I was worried about whether or not they would help me, but because so much other information (non-related) was being shared, testimonies and the like, that we just had a really great conversation. Finally they prayed with me and I left.
I was totally confident that it was already a done deal, so even when I couldn’t reach my friend at work for a ride, I wasn’t worried. Another good friend called and said he’d pick me up and take me to work, but he couldn’t pick me up. It was cool, because my work friend took me home.
But 15 minutes after I got to work, I got a phone call. It was my brother. He said that he had called my mechanic to help another person and connect them with him. When he finished his business about this person he was helping, my mechanic asked him for a “really big favor.” He then told my brother about the damage to the rear braking system of my car, and that he could not sleep all night, because he was so worried about me driving it in that condition. He asked my brother if he could help me out, and said that he would even take a cut on the labor he would charge if my brother would just get the parts for me, so he could fix my car.
My brother agreed, and told me to take my car to the mechanic to be repaired, and then tell the mechanic to call him when it was fixed. He said, “I’ll take care of this. It’ll be your Christmas present.”
Can you believe that? I’m not at all surprized that it got taken care of, because I trust God. Additionally, I’ve had a great brother, so I’m not at all surprised that he stood by me. That’s not the astounding thing. The WOW factor here is in the route God went through to get it taken care of. I never told my family that I was in that situation. In fact, I only told the church Benevolence and a few friends of mine at church, that did not know my brother. God moved on my mechanic’s heart and sent my brother to him. Amazing. It was a $400 repair job, and all I did was ask God, and go to Benevolence as instructed. Yet, outside of prayer, they had nothing to do with the solution He brought. God is so amazing!