A Feast in the Midst of Trouble

I bought my second Santa Fe last year. It was the during the COVID Lockdown. I wanted to try out my new four wheel drive. I went to visit my sister . She was careful about visitors as she was in touch with sick people. We chatted over coffee outside in the sunshine. The driveway up to her house is quite steep. She had recently installed an iron hand rail for ease in walking down or up to her house.

I said my goodbyes and jumped in my car. I drove off. Suddenly I heard “Crunch”. My car got impailed on the iron rail and left a long dent in the back door. My new car, What will Brendan say? I shook with fear. I sat paralysed. If I drive forward or backwards the dent will get longer. I felt helpless. The joy I had, evaporated. My sister reassured me till I recovered and got out of the car. I got in touch with my son and he came to the rescue. There is a signature dent across the back passenger door.

Fast forward to this past week. The car mechanic had rang me to tell me he had finished fixing my hand break. I asked Brendan to drive me to Saintfield to pick up my car and we could go for breakfast after. Before we left the house Brendan reminded me to bring my mobile phone. We drove to pick up my car.

I paid my mechanic and was delighted with getting my car road worthy again. Brendan and I agreed to meet back in Saintfield. I drove off, turned on the window wipers, the lights, the radio and had the heating up full blast. It was a dull, wet, cold morning. I was comfortable in my wagon, sheltered from wind and rain.

The Main Street in Saintfield is busy with traffic. Cars were trying to manoeuvre aroad a parked loading lorry. I got a parking space opposite the cafe Saints. I waited for Brendan.

I ordered freshly made pancakes with bacon. Brendan was having a coffee as he was meeting someone for lunch. We chatted and I shared my happiness at getting my car back. I was even happier when the waitress brought me three fluffy freshly cooked pancakes draped with maple syrup.

Breakfast over Brendan and I parted and said we would see each other back home in Belfast. I walked back to my car to find a white sheet on the dashboard. “Oh no”a parking ticket I thought. More money! It was a notice which read “Your car moved down the hill into the car in front.” I thought that’s strange I have just got my brakes repaired. A lady came out of a shop nearby. She told me what happened. The car in front was owned by an elderly man who had just stopped to pick up his pension from the Bank. He was distressed to see my car. He was afraid to move his car. Other shop keepers came to the rescue. Some one went looking for me in the local shops and cafes. I couldn’t be found. I was happy eating my breakfast across the way without any disturbance.

A driver had the bright idea to put a brick in front of my wheels to stop it moving again. Then the gentleman could drive off. He left his phone number for me.

I thanked everyone who had helped and apologised profusely. I wanted to get out of there fast! I jumped in the car and turned the key but no response. More trouble! It just went Click. Click when I tried the key again. What is happening? Then I remembered the radio, the heater, the wipers and the lights had run down my battery.

I wasn’t too distressed this time. I called Brendan to come back to help me. In the meantime I called the car mechanic. I didn’t have long to wait. He parked alongside my car and got my battery recharged. He removed the bricks from the wheels. The traffic got jammed again on the Main Street. Brendan returned. “It’s just as well you had your mobile or you would have been stranded!“

Just the events of a morning when it should have been quite straight forward to pick up my car. There was trouble but I didn’t loose my joy. I was having a feast while people were looking for me. I’m on the road again!

Bearing Fruit in Old Age

I had a good sleep after our journey home from Slovakia.

I lie down and I sleep and I wake again sustained by The Lord.
Psalm 3 v 5.
These are days to rest after Brendan and my work in Eastern Slovakia.  We met beautiful families there.  It is a privilege to have the opportunity to share with others God’s goodness and mercy.

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I went out to the greenhouse to fetch a tomato for my breakfast.  Brendan was creating a treat for me on our first morning home.  One particular tomato plant has been blossoming and bearing fruit long after the others have withered.  I bought three different varieties of plants at the beginning of spring. The tomato plants all looked alike on the shelf at Homebase.  Gardener’s Delight is the only one still bearing fruit.  Take note anyone with a greenhouse and green fingers out there.
I was reminded of the scripture verse that says,
You shall bear fruit in old age.  Your leaf will not wither.

““But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.””
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I gathered some fruit.  Brendan called me for breakfast.  It was very welcome.  My strength will be renewed after a few more days of rest.

Later today my son was telling me about a lady he met recently.  She was a young at heart seventy eight year old.  She works in a Charity shop three days a week and travels from Carryduff with her bus pass.  This lady welcomed customers warmly and engaged each in conversation.  John was struck by her enthusiasm.  He listened to some of her life experiences.

She worked in the company C & A in Belfast.  She turned in for work looking the part, well suited and make up, perfect.  She spent her money on the latest fashion and good food.  After marriage she decided to give up work and rear her children.  She found that she was able to manage without the extra income her job could have offered.  She survived without the latest fashion and the best of food.  She learned to budget and enjoy being home with the children.

When her children were reared she went back to education and got qualifications to teach, which she did till she retired.  On retirement she launched into some other activity. This lady has important life experiences and is sharing them with anyone who will listen.  She is not giving up.  She is living life to the full.  Her leaf is not withering and she is bearing fruit at old age.