Monday, January 10, 2011

Riding in Tow Trucks with Drivers pt. 2

If I had it to do all over again, I would rename my last post, "Riding in Tow Trucks with Drivers." That said, you can consider this part two...

To make a long story short, and to get to the point of this story, the work that had been done on my car did not adequately fix the issue. So, on my way to NY early Saturday morning for a meeting that doesn't start until next week (note to self, the iCal only works when you actually look at it), my car started to give me problems. After troubleshooting with hubby and dad, I decided to stay in NY for church and have the car towed back to Jersey on Monday morning (today).

The Bible says that God will turn our mourning into dancing and give us beauty for ashes. Apparently, as He did today, God will also turn a bad experience with a truck driver into a pleasant one.

I called AAA to arrange for a tow. Since it was an out of state tow, the wait time was three hours. I wanted to be upset, but I was too tired, so I sat on the couch and waited it out. About thirty minutes before schedule, I received a call from the dispatch telling me that the truck was outside. I hurried, so not to be left. When I made it downstairs the driver greeted me and asked if the car would start. I responded and then followed his instructions to back it up so he could put it on the flat. After doing my part he encouraged me to get in the truck where it was warm. This was different already...

As we took off, he apologetically told me that we needed to stop for gas because he was on his way to fuel up when he got the call. "No problem," I said. When we stopped, he pointed out the convenience store and said I could go in because it would take a while to fill up the tank. I stayed in the car, but as I waited I noticed various groups of Hispanic men standing outside. It was a little late for day laborers to be outside , so I thought, so I asked the driver when he got back in the truck. He explained to me that they were indeed day laborers and that they stay out waiting for work until about three in the afternoon.

At this point I was nervous. I thought back to the last truck driver and the issues that he had with Indians. Plus immigration is a touchy subject these days. But this driver, Dave, empathetically spoke of their desire to work and the way in which an old boss of his used day laborers but mistreated them.

We moved from immigration to a conversation about President Obama which, because I had just watched/participated in the moment of silence, flowed to the Arizona shooting. We talked about fear, racial profiling, and the ease of legally obtaining weapons for some. We talked about young people and privilege and wondered how a young man could or would want to commit such a heinous act. I then shared with him the lack of ease I sometimes felt when I was teaching high school, especially after stories of crazy things happening on high school and college campuses. He asked if I was still teaching and I responded.

So what are you doing now?

I am the assistant to the Pastor at the Bethesda Baptist Church in New Rochelle.

Oh, so you want to be a minister.

You could say that. I am a minister.

He then talked about his faith in God, but his lack of connection (on purpose) with a church. He doesn't knock those who are connected with a church, but didn't feel like church was for him. I talked about my understanding of church and beauty of connection with other believers in worship and fellowship. When we got to the nitty gritty of the conversation, it was being forced to go to church as a boy and being chastised for asking questions during his confirmation class that turned him off. He recounted the story of asking the pastor a question about heaven and he'll, not being given an answer that made sense to him and then being scolded when he got home by his aunt. She told him that he, "had the devil in him." Dave told the story like it had happened yesterday, but it was almost forty years ago. He was scarred and scared of even walking into a church again. He humbly mentioned that he never took his son to church but, now that he is a grandfather, that he wants his grandson to know God. So, I invited him to come to worship with us.

At this point we weren't even on the George Washington Bridge. Our conversation from there was mostly centered around family. He is a father or three, grandfather of one very spoiled boy, and separated from his wife. Although the relationship with his wife did not work out, he lifted up marriage as a beautiful institution that takes work in order for it to work. Different, indeed.

- Posted using BlogPress on the fiercest device ever...the iPad!!!


  1. this is a beautiful story, i am happy that you had a very pleasant ride back to n.j. there are a few misspelled words but thats okay because i know you were tired. i am hoping that Dave take you up on the offer and come and worship with us. keep writting.

  2. Even at thirtysomething mom still checks my homework...
    I fixed the typos...can I get up and go watch TV now?