Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Absolution From A 2 Year Old

It was one of those days. I had a plan of attack for my day, and then everything fell apart.

A week prior I was asked to help move a vehicle that was being taken to a dealership. I was asked to help tow it because the tire was flat. I brought my portable air compressor over and filled the tire. It would hold the air long enough for it to be driven to the dealership. The car was also loaded with "stuff" which I helped load into another vehicle. Also, the glove box had been stuck for the past year and half and the contents needed to be removed. That job as well was left to me to take care of. I was able to get the thing open, only to find items such as pens and pencils. Great, so now the glove box won't shut, and all on account of essentially worthless items. That being said, the car was now road worthy and had been cleaned out, ready to be driven that next morning to the dealership to be parted out. I wedged the glove box shut with a broken ice scraper. This being done, the battery would be fine for drive to its final destination the next morning. Ok, mission complete.

Fast forward. I hadn't heard back about moving the vehicle so I assumed it had been moved. Then I got the phone call asking me to help move the car. The caller kept cutting in and out, so I was only getting about 20% copy of what he was actually saying. (If you're a Ham radio operator, you understood that last sentence. If not, ask a Ham radio operator) I just happen to look out the window and see the call walking down my sidewalk to my house. Disgustedly I tell him to just tell me when I gets to my door and I hang up.

So I answer the door and get the scoop on the situation. I'm getting rather annoyed at this point. I did everything I could to be done with this stupid project, for both me and the individual, and I let him know it. (The guy I'm now openly being a jerk to is my brother.)  Out the back door I go to the garage, mumbling some pretty impolite things along the way right in front of my two year twin old daughters. I grab my portable air compressor and we hop into his new vehicle and drive to the location of the junker.

The tire is flat, naturally, so I fill it up and then hop in to start it up. The battery is dead. I notice that for whatever reason the ice scraper I'd wedged in to keep the glove box open is gone and the box is open. This battery isn't just dead, it's dead dead. No lights, no sounds, nothing. I shout for set of jumper cables. He doesn't have any. Tension is building more. Back into the new vehicle, a trip to my house to get a set of jumpers and then back to the junker.

We hook things up and wait. I go to start the car, she turns, wants to start, but just won't. After attempt three to do this I notice the fuel gage reading. Fumes, nothing but fumes. I hit the dash, hop out of the junker, in to the new vehicle, waiting in purposeful silence and then hop back into junker. I look at the dash, shake my head, and for the first time during this situation pray. "Dear Lord, I really need this car to start." Attempt number 4 the car starts.

Ok, we're getting somewhere now. I let the car run for several minutes to charge the battery back up and then down the road we go, for 8 blocks, where I have to pull over in front of my house because the car is now overheating. I shut the car off, hop out, and give my brother another earful about irresponsibility, hop back in the car and just hope that I can get this junker to the dealership without it blowing on me. I come to a red light and pull over, shutting off the car as it's overheating again.  Start it up and pull over a third time. Start it up a forth time and I finally get it to the dealership where I park it, shut it off and throw the keys to my brother. I wait fuming at the new vehicle until he comes back.

On the way back to my house I cool down some, that is, until we get into the house and realize that my keys to the church are now missing. I lose it. If my brother would have just driven that hunk of junk when he was supposed to this whole day would have been different. I vent loudly in front of the whole family, scaring my daughters with how angry I'm becoming. I tear out away from my house in my red F-150 and check all the places I've been, finally ending up at the parked junker where I find my lost keys.

I get back home and fly off the handle. It's bad, really bad, and I'm saying things in front of my daughters that I shouldn't be saying in any situation. My daughters start cowering. I'm scaring them badly. I'm so consumed about how "I've been wronged" by this situation, completely absorbed in my selfishness, that I forget my daughters until they start crying. Their tears bring about the Law, convicting me of my actions that afternoon. I sink into the chair, looking at my scared daughters, tears in my eyes as I do so. I call them over to me and they do so hesitantly.

Holding them in my arms I confessed to them. "Girls, Daddy is so sorry that he scared you. I was mad about my day and was selfish. I was mean to your uncle in front of you and said things that daddy should not have said. I'm so sorry that I scared you. Please forgive me." My daughter Brynja reaches up, puts her hands my cheeks and says "I forgive you Daddy..." And then, while reaching up and making the sign of the cross on my forehead, she brings me the Gospel and says "...and Jesus forgives you Daddy." Then the floodgates opened.

Thank you Father for my children. And thank you for the Gospel.

Jesu Juva,
Soli Deo Gloria

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