I told you, didn’t I? There isn’t a blessed tree peeking above the lush prairie grass in any direction? Oh? It’s important you know that, to understand my predicament. And, I should add, I can’t find a rock or anything that could be used to smash my car window.
I was out for a drive, getting away from the hassle of a hectic life, communing with God, driving down seldom traveled back-country roads and faded trails. Basking in the glory of His creation, he was rearranging my thoughts. After several hours of meandering I had stopped on a slight rise and stepped out to enjoy the mesmerizing sight of grasses swaying sinuously in a gentle spring breeze.
Standing with my hand on the hood of my car, enjoying the freshness of the outdoors, I could feel the motor purring smoothly. However long I stood was too long. My reverie was shattered by an ominous sound – “Click.” The auto door lock engaged: it is programmed to do that after a time when the key is left in the ignition with the motor running.
So here I am, stuck in the middle of nowhere. My cell phone is in the car. My search to find anything to help me break in has failed. No one knows where I am, including myself. My foot hurts from trying to kick in the windshield. I’d give fifty dollars, maybe more, for a drink of water. I feel like Job.
Okay God. You’ve got my attention. That “click” did it. If I get out of this alive you’re going to have to show off.
To my absolute surprise, shortly after my petition, a whiskery old prospector rode up on a donkey and, I swear, the donkey was wearing a straw hat with a sunflower in it. I thought I was hallucinating. He looked a throwback from an old western movie. But, celluloid prospectors were always in dry gulches or on rocky mountains with tumbling creeks and gravelly stream beds. I pinched myself thinking this is too surreal to be true.
“What’cha problem, young feller?” he asked, nailing my hubcap with a splash of tobacco juice.
Leaping to my feet, slapping my rear with the palms of my hand to knock the dust off I exclaimed, “Sir, may I borrow your pickax? I locked myself out of my car. I need to bust a window to get in.”
He chawed a few moments, looking me over, thinking something behind those rheumy eyes. “Well now, I guess you can” he said. “But, first, let’s have an un’nerstanding.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, suspicious of where this was going. It had been a simple request.
“Sally, that’s my pick” he said. “She’s my livelihood. I got ’tuh have ‘er. If you break her, you trade your life for hers.”
“She’s my work tool. You break her, you gon’na take her place. Un’nerstand?”
“I think so.” I didn’t, really, but I thought it best to humor him. Desperate people do desperate things. I qualified.
“I’ll give you one swing. If Sally glances off, you don’t get another. If the handle breaks, you’ll be picking rock out of Golconda #2 with your hands. You want to risk that?”
“Can I inspect the handle?”
“Nope! You pick it up, the deal’s on.”
“How about you break the window for me? I’ll pay you well to do it. My billfold is in the car.”
Scratching his nose with a stubby forefinger he paused to stain another hub cap. “No sir’ree, young feller. I ain’t a breaking and entering nothing. That’s what got me into the prospecting business. A fool lady said I stole a apple pie out’ta her house but I never done it. The judge gim’me thirty days. I been staying away from trouble ever since. You gon’na have to do your own breaking. It’s a fact, Jack. I don’t even know if that car be yours.”
I bowed my head, thinking, praying. Lord, it’s me again. I know you sent your son on a donkey to save the world. But, have you sent this tobacco spewing character to save me? I want to know Lord. What should I do?
And the thought came resoundingly clear: ‘If I lead you to it, I’ll lead you through it. You prayed, didn’t you? Get moving.’
I hefted Sally, tapping the window to measure the distance, and swung…..
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