A Rusty Tow Truck

I pounded the steering wheel of my old Buick Le Sabre in frustration and started crying. The old beast had stalled out yet again, and I was stuck in the middle lane of I-65 in downtown Indianapolis. I had spent hundreds of dollars trying to get it fixed, replacing one part after another, and now this.

I had come to Indianapolis with a group of Navigators for a six week ministry training program during the summer of 1982. I drove the Buick LeSabre that I shared with my sister to Indianapolis from Michigan. On the way, I had picked up three other college students from Michigan to bring to Butler University in Indianapolis.

My car was essential to getting some of us back and forth to our temporary jobs. I must have dropped everyone else off at their jobs because I was alone in the car.

On the other side of the freeway, the driver of a rusty old red tow truck saw me. He raced around to my side of the freeway. “Do you need a tow?” he asked. He had long hair and ratty old jeans. I asked him how much. “$25.” I said okay. That was all I had on me, but what could I do? I intended to have him take me back to the sorority house we were staying in.

In the tow truck, he asked me what had happened to the car, and I poured out the whole sorry story. He then said, “I know a good mechanic. I’ll take you there.”

He took me and my car to a mechanic who was located in a building with a long series of garages all hooked together. Then he refused to take my money for the tow. This was a high tech garage. I found out later that it was a garage located near the Indianapolis Speedway. The operator had posters with Bible verses hanging from his walls. He hooked my car up to his computer and found the problem – a faulty connection to the distributor cap. He asked me about the history of repairs and how much I paid for them. He asked me if the mechanic kissed me, too, indicating that I had been cheated. He also refused to take my money.

Those two men showed mercy and kindness to me. What if I had refused the help of the first man because of his clothing and long hair and the appearance of his old tow truck? You never know who might show mercy to you. He was God’s provision for me.

2 thoughts on “A Rusty Tow Truck

  1. You never know where or when an angel will appear. I had a similar experience driving to an orchestra concert in Illinois during my college days. My car started to sputter smoke and I managed to get to a truck stop where I was told a belt had worn through. It would cost over $50 to fix. One of the students riding with me recognized a man she knew in the truck stop and when she explained what happened, he pulled out his wallet and handed me a $50. He wouldn’t give me his name or address so I could repay him, just said “That’s what people are for.” I did repay him later, through my friend. But I never forgot his compassion and generosity.

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