We’d driven our family minivan as long as we could. Someone had generously donated it to us several years ago when we’d really needed it. At the time, it had more than 200,000 miles. We added another 60,000 and, like any good Mainer, my husband, Dana, faithfully kept it with whatever scraps and bits he could find.
A few weeks ago, however, I noticed the van seemed a little tilted. Sure I must be imagining it, that night I asked Dana, “Does the van seem like it’s sort of leaning at an angle?”
“You noticed it too?” he said.
Sure enough, the left front bumper was about six inches closer to the pavement than the right. The suspension was shot. Unwilling to throw more money at such an old vehicle, we searched online for a replacement, which is how we ended up driving to the Central Maine city of Waterville to meet a salesman named Dan.
Only, I’d forgotten that Waterville was more than an hour north. As we sped up the Interstate in our little sedan, I turned to Dana and said, “Why on earth didn’t we look for something closer? Do you realize how many dealerships there are between our house and Waterville? Unless, of course, God really wants to bless Dan.”
Several hours later, we were filling out paperwork to buy a second-hand van that fit our budget when Dan noticed that I was a writer. So was his wife, he said. In fact, it was her passion.
“There’s a great writer’s conference by the Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers that sometimes meets at the church just up the street,” I told him. In fact, it was so close, we could see it across the parking lot.
“I go to that church,” said Dan, a father of two small children. “My family and I started going a couple of months ago.”
I laughed and told him about wondering why we were driving so far to buy a van. I also encouraged his wife to get in touch if she wanted to connect with other Maine writers. I well remember starting out as a freelancer when my own oldest children were small. It can be hard and lonely. And I remember how hard Dana worked to make it possible for me to stay home and keep writing. He still does.
That afternoon, as I turned the key in the ignition of our new van, I laughed when turned on the radio and it was already set to my favorite Christian station. God had truly led us all the way to Waterville to bless Dan and his family–and us too! You see, the way the world works, a few people thrive at the expense of everyone else—just look at the top paid CEOs and the vast numbers of low-wage workers who are working multiple jobs to support them. But in God’s kingdom, what’s good for one person is good for everyone.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches,” the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19.
In blessing others, we are blessed. In meeting our need for a van, God met Dan’s needs too—and Dana and I enjoyed a rare Saturday alone. Definitely worth the drive.