I have no idea why I was on that particular road. I can’t remember where I had been, but I was on my way home, driving my 1980-something Chevrolet Chevette. It was a really cute car. A light blue that shimmered like cellophane wrapping paper. But a cute car is no longer cute when it suddenly just stops running. Right there in the middle of the road. Somehow I got it off on the side of the road. And I just sat there and tried to figure out what to do.
It was the 80’s so there was no grabbing a phone to call someone for help. Even my younger self, broke down as I was, was not the kind of person to knock on a door and ask for help. So I grabbed my purse and my useless keys, determined that I would just have to walk and pray my way home. Daddy would know what to do.
Thankfully I didn’t have to go very far at all before a man from our church just happened to be passing that way. He knew what had happened to my car. It was one of those things that couldn’t be fixed with a pair of jumper cables or jiggling a number 2 pencil in the carburetor. I would need to be towed. He took me home. At the house, Daddy and I got in his light yellow Dodge and drove back down that lonely road to my once sparkly, now hopeless, blue Chevrolet Chevette.
In just a few minutes Daddy had come to the same conclusion that our church friend had reached. The car would have to be towed. But there would be no tow-truck called that evening. Daddy popped his trunk to see what he had. It took about 30 seconds before he came back to where I was waiting. He was holding an old bedspread. One of those that have fringes on the edges. Foolishly, I thought he was going to cover the car up to protect it overnight.
Oh, no- it would not be that easy. Very deftly, Daddy took that bedspread and wrapped it around the back bumper of his car, then around the front bumper of my car. Putting my car in neutral, he deposited me behind the wheel and told me to steer and only use the brakes in order to avoid bumping into him when he had to stop.
Those were the longest five miles I’ve ever traveled in my life. Wasn’t long before we were drawing interested looks from people as we passed through neighborhoods, as we drove past businesses, and finally down our own street and into our driveway.
I’m so thankful that I had such a good Daddy in my life. He taught me to value hard work, to enjoy earning my way. He taught me to care about people in small, unnoticeable ways. He taught me to know when to give in and when to stand strong. He taught me how to talk to Jesus and how to listen to Him. He taught me the value of a knowing how to tell a story and knowing how to teach the Bible. He taught me what faith looks like, and showed me how to be the hands of Jesus in this world.
He has been in glory 15 years, and I still miss him.
There were so many times in my life he came to my rescue. I always knew I could always call him. And he would never say, “No,” to my call for help.
I know that each of us has reached a point in our lives where we were at a complete standstill. We stood there, on the side of whatever road we were traveling, wondering how we got there, what went wrong, and how we would get home. It’s a helpless feeling, isn’t it?
Sometimes it seems we reach those places by seemingly random circumstances, and sometimes as a result of really bad or foolish choices that we’ve made. The thing is, no matter how helpless we may feel sometimes, we never have to feel hopeless. Our Heavenly Father will never say, “No,” when we cry out to Him for help.
Over the course of my life, I’ve often traveled back in my memory to that late afternoon, carefully navigating my way behind my Daddy’s car, as I was being towed on that old bedspread he just happened to have in the trunk of his car. And this is what I remember- no matter how hopeless someone’s situation may look, when the Father is leading us, there is always a way home.