“Hey Coach, did they let you drive that beast out of the junkyard or did you carry it out piece by piece?” A snort escaped through Zach’s lips before he whispered lovingly to his old car, “Don’t listen to him, Wilma!” He buffed the dried wax on the hood going around the small rust spots erupting through the faded green paint.
“Did you just call this wreck, Wilma?”
Slapping his baseball hat to his knee he asked, “I’ve gotta hear this… Wilma? Really?” Zach began wiping the sticky wax from his hands with a wet rag, before patting the hood. Nodding at the sophomore he stood up and stretched his six-foot-four, two hundred and forty pound frame before looking at the Eagle’s new running back. “Come here!” The boy took a step back before seeing the coach’s finger beckoning him to look. Opening the driver side door, he lifted the carpet to reveal a hole that would allow a basketball to pass. “My wife calls her the ‘Flintstone mobile’, so I named her Wilma. Patting the old carpet back in place he smiled as the kid laughed out loud.
“A friend of mine is going to weld a piece of sheet metal to fix it next week.”
Kicking the wheel the kid shook his head saying, “They don’t pay you enough Coach!” Zach agreed silently before rubbing the hood again with a soft clean cloth.
“Seriously Coach, why do you wax this piece of...” the kid stopped himself mid-cuss at the warning in his coach’s eyes. He knew Zach was also a campus minister and he laughed when the coach just said, “Wilma.”
“Sorry, but why do you…”
“Because we need her to keep running.”
“Then you need to get her some new tires before winter, you’ll have a new baby by then.” The coach didn’t look this time; he knew the tires were bald. With two hundred dollars a month plus housing, there wasn’t much money for anything else. Sending up a silent prayer, he kept buffing, “Lord, please, keep Wilma running.”
“Hey Mrs. Z, got any more of that lemonade?” Shielding her eyes to look at the cocky football player she pointed, “there is a pitcher on the kitchen table, help yourself Sammy.” Handing her husband the lemonade, she said, “I’m all packed, are you ready?”
“Give me fifteen minutes and don’t lift anything!” Lynne nodded dropping her hand to pat her growing abdomen.
The old car took them to ministry training and on their way home Zach decided to stop at his parent’s house. They did not approve of his career choice or adding a child when he had a dead end job, but they loved their boy.
“If it isn’t our Golden child; Mister Magna Cum Laud college graduate… have you gotten a real job yet? Janet, get out here, Zachy and Lynne are here!”
“Hello to you too, Pop.” The sincerity of the hug softened the words, “I’m glad you are home Son.” The house smelled glorious and his Italian mother began wiping her hands on her apron before accepting a hug. “You are just in time for lasagna!” The doorbell rang and Zach’s godfather entered, “Hey Zachy boy, are those fifteen inch tires on that heap in the driveway?” Zach steeled himself waiting for the zingers that usually came because he turned down a lucrative career opportunity before entering the ministry.
“Let’s check.” Walking to the car the old retired coach smiled, “Yep, they are fifteen inch, and I just happen to have four brand new tires in my trunk.” Lynne’s mouth opened in astonishment as Mr. B chuckled, “they are yours! The Lord knows you need them more than I do!”
The old mechanic waved toward the young couple and said, “Keeping your Guardian Angel pretty busy I see? Come, I need you to see something.” Taking his hand he scooped shredded rubber from the inside of the tire. “If the temperature had risen just one more degree, I expect all four tires would have blown!” Zach took a deep breath as the reality set in and whispered, “Thank you Lord!”
“You put your family at risk waiting this long.”
Zach agreed humbly, “Thank you for changing the tires, what do I owe you?”
“No charge, but never forget, that you had a need and God provided!”
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
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