Saturday, July 02, 2016

Scratch Off

It's been a whirlwind summer for me already. I never call it a vacation because I am invariably busy but it keeps me out of trouble. There was the obligatory three weeks of basketball camp and my apartment complex made some really nice upgrades to my living quarters. I am in the middle of preps for my mission to Vietnam which is only three days off. That leaves the before and after pictures you see at the top of this page. Two months ago, I put a serious gouge in the rear passenger-side door and back panel of my 2010 Honda Fit. Initially, I was going to leave it as it was but it immediately began to rust and several folks I trust advised the repairs. I had purchased the Fit new with the money our parents, a very frugal couple, left us in their will. This may seem strange but it almost felt like an obligation to Mom and Dad to make it right. I've been paying my own insurance since college and it's the first time I've used it. I was due.

My agent, Randy King, directed me to the nice folks at SAFECO, my provider, who directed me to Service King, only three miles from my apartment. A good friend, Brian Burney, accompanied me and asked Ricardo, who did my estimate, the questions I didn't know to ask. The cost was over my $1,000 deductible but the upside was, as I wrote here previously, a 2016 FIAT 500X was mine to drive for more than a week! I was more than pleased with their work at Service King. My feeling is that they covered up some other flaws on my exterior in blending the paint to make it match. They gave me some directions about washing and waxing- very similar to my LASIK surgery! I'm good to go, at least if I stay away from electronic entry gates!

Let me tell you a little bit about what I learned in the ordeal. The depth of the gouge on the door required a new skin to be put in place. To the uninformed, which includes me in its subset, the door skin is the outer metal layer, minus the frame of the door. A new skin had to be ordered which slowed down the process. It was worth the wait! What a difference as evidenced by the pictures! The door looks brand new, because in a sense, it is! Honestly, I was embarrassed when my car was damaged but I've got my swagger back. Well, if you can have a swagger with a six year old Honda that is like a minivan!

In some ways, without overstating the comparison, I think we as believers share commonalities with our car bodies. Over the years and decades and lifetimes, we accumulate scratches and scars, dings and dents. Some are obvious, some are discreet, and some are self-inflicted, at least in my case! Still, all our flaws have this in common: our Father knows each and every divot and imperfections.... and yet He loves us! As Dave Yasko, our minister, is fond of reminding us, the Lord has never been known to say, "Well, I didn't see that coming!" As poorly as we think of ourselves due to guilt and shame, He cannot be surprised by our sin.

Last Sunday night after worship, I ran into the nearby WAL-MART Neighborhood Market for a few items. I came around the corner of an aisle and there she was, one of my very favorite former students as well as teacher's aides, and I've had a bunch of both in my eighteen years at WCS. I had not seen her in seven or eight years and both of us were startled. I hugged her and told her how good it was to see her! Do you know the first thing she said to me?
"I'm not wearing any makeup!" 

I thought that was funny. First, she has always been pretty and secondly, I had no idea she was cosmetic-free; she was still very lovely. Must be a girl thing but I think she was kind of embarrassed- I was just excited to see her again! Maybe that's how our Father feels. He loves me in spite of me. And the deductible for my soul was no $1,000 fee; I was paid for with the blood of His Son. Talk about an expensive payment....... and a policy that won't get canceled. 

Applicable quote of the day:
We approach people the same way we approach our cars. We take the poor kid to a doctor and ask, What's wrong with him, how much will it cost, and when can I pick him up? 
James Hillman

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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