Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Touch Up

Several nights ago, I re-ran an entry written the day in April of 2010 when I bought my first new car, a Honda Fit. I promised myself, after promising myself before that I would never buy a new car, that I would care for it with the greatest of attention. I did at first. Every week, I washed it by hand and then every week became every two weeks, then every month. I parked carefully away from others especially at WAL-MART. The tires have been rotated every six months and the oil changed as notified by my console gauge. Five years in, my odometer only reads slightly more than 35,000 miles and these Fits should have a life expectancy of close to 200,000. Still, it's five years old and little stuff pops up. The driver's side door lock is clogged so I have to open the passenger door and crawl over two seats to hit the unlock mechanism. The AC yesterday started blowing warm air so Jose Ramirez helped me put in a can of freon with a sealer included- working like a charm! And over the course of half a decade, I've accumulated a number of dings, evenly distributed around the lower half of the car. You might not notice them but I sure have. Several were my fault and the blame for several goes to anonymous folks who chose not to step forward. That's life.

At Spring Break, I drove to my dealership, the terrific Russell & Smith Honda folks, to get a bottle of touch up paint, like that shown above. It cost $12 and they had to order it from Dallas but it was definitely a match for my powder blue car which our former elementary art insisted on calling periwinkle. I've applied the paint twice. The first time was experimental, just to make sure I had a clue. I touched up several small spots and it was a breeze. The next morning after it had dried, the places were close to invisible to the untrained eye. So, a couple of days ago, I took on more and bigger problem areas. (I'm not sure what that means but I hear it in commercials!) The problem was I am impatient and not very precise. I almost wished I had asked Minna, my teacher's aide, to do it for me during school because girls are used to applying makeup with the skill of Monet. It was like I was buttering pancakes at IHOP instead of being an artist restoring a former masterpiece. I have several more blemishes to conceal. Any volunteers?

One of the intriguing passages of scriptures to me has always been the interaction of Jesus and Peter at the Last Supper when Jesus is washing the feet of His men, the job of a servant. As you recall in John 13, Peter initially refused to let Jesus clean his feet prompting a rebuke from the Savior. Typically, Peter goes overboard and requests a head to toe cleaning. The Master replies, 
Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.
It would be silly for me to take my car in to a body shop for a head to toe paint job when my Honda Fit only has a few boo boos. And yet when I stumble, I feel like Peter in his second interchange with the Lord. And at least temporarily, I despise myself and wonder why Jesus would have anything to do with me in the first place. But before too long, I remind myself of that most comforting verse, 1 John 1 and verse 7:
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.
The ongoing cleansing power of the precious blood of the Christ is the best assurance of peace of mind to the believer. As William Cowper put it in the fourth verse of his hymn, There Is A Fountain:
E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

I've been redeemed; praise the Lord! But I still need help with the paint.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Cars are like rolling diaries, metal and plastic and paint tableaux of the last ten years of their drivers' lives ... every dent, every drooping slice of chrome, has a story behind it."
JIM ATKINSON, Texas Monthly

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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