Before we begin a journey, whether short or long, Mom and I always pray. Last Friday was no exception. The day was picture perfect for traveling, the traffic moderate, and the mood upbeat.
Within five minutes of merging onto I-81, a loud pop announced the blow out of my rear, passenger-side tire. Hoping the sound we heard might be another car or truck backfiring, I pulled over to the shoulder. Mom opened the car door and peered at the tire. In a voice as flat as the tire, she reported our initial assessment was accurate.
Following a call to a motor club, Mom got out of the car and I climbed out via the passenger-side door. With tractor trailers and cars whizzing by, there was no way I would open the driver-side door. We then prayed and waited for help to arrive.
A car pulled over in front of us and stopped. A young couple and teenage girl approached and offered to change the tire. The man identified himself as an auto mechanic. The woman reassured me he often aided motorists in distress since no one had stopped to assist her in a similar situation.
A State Police Officer soon joined the group. His squad car alerted approaching traffic to the disabled vehicle. We cancelled the motor club request, and marveled as the young man changed the tire in a matter of minutes.
The Officer and auto mechanic agreed the tire was beyond repair, and the spare would not get us to our destination. The couple suggested I follow them to a dealer where I could purchase a replacement. At one point, we lost each other in traffic. I caught a glimpse of them as they turned a corner. Already beyond the intersection, I located a place to turn around. We saw them sitting in a parking lot waiting for us. Before we could get there, they left. I prayed, and we reconnected several blocks down the road. Relief flooded me as I parked the car in the shopping center lot.
The adventure wasn’t over yet. The tire dealer informed us there was a two-hour wait. The young auto mechanic, former Marine, and rescuer of damsels in distress grabbed a telephone book and found another dealer. A short telephone conversation with the service desk, and we headed over there. Our new friends, Jake, Beth, and Brittney, bid us farewell and entrusted us into the capable hands of Jeff, of Colonial Tire and Auto Center, in Harrisburg, PA.
As I paid for the tire, I noticed a Scripture verse written on a whiteboard: Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” My heart almost burst with praise to the Lord for how he took such good care of us.
So, a big thank-you to Jake, Beth, Brittney, and Jeff for going above and beyond the call of duty to help two stranded travelers, and to the State Police Officer, who got both our cars safely back onto the highway. I don’t believe in coincidence. As one person I know is fond of saying, “Coincidences are God working anonymously.” I’m glad all of you were at the right place, at the right time. May the Lord bless you for being Good Samaritans.