The Night God Changed My Flat
Have you ever seen God? I did. I saw him on a Saturday night in July.
I was on my way home after a long day at my new job with full-time hours. This was my late night. I started at 11am and finished at 8pm. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and just ready to be home. I was scheduled to be back at 6am.
Shortly after merging onto the highway that would carry me home, I heard a sound of dread. Tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump.
As safely as possible, I made my way to the shoulder, cautiously stepping out as the cars flew by at nearly 70 mph. Confirming the flat, I called Kevin, but since he was over 20 minutes away, I rifled through my wallet for my AAA card and placed a call for help. Ironically, another car had pulled up behind me in the same predicament. I relied on their knowledge of the area to help guide AAA to my exact location, with an estimated wait time of 30 minutes or more.
I planted myself behind the guard rail, recalling my husband’s near miss 10 years ago while being a Good Samaritan, attempting to help a woman in a snowy ditch (our van was totaled while Kevin was just steps from getting back into the driver’s seat).
It was dusk. The mosquitos started to bite. And the raindrops started to fall. I was hungry and I had to pee.
And then I saw him.
The flashing lights of his squad car gave him away. Not AAA. Not Kevin.
Glen was soft-spoken, gentle, and ready to help. In about 15 minutes, he had the spare firmly in place and we parted ways after a genuine thank you and a (greasy) hand shake.
Did you know Glen is another name for God? Neither did I, until I heard his voice behind me again last week.
I was scouring the stage for any last unclaimed pumpkins during our church’s Halloween event and heard someone from behind me ask, “Did you have a flat tire on the side of the highway a couple of months ago?”
Turning around, I immediately said, “Yes, and you changed it!”
There he was again. In the flesh. He was wearing different clothes. I wasn’t.
We struck up a conversation and discovered we were both attenders at Grace Church, not just members of the local community there for the party.
In his gentle voice he said, “Then God led me to you that night.”
Yes, Glen. Yes, He did.
You were Him.
Sometimes, when we’re not looking, we miss the encounter.
But He comes back to remind us. Even when we don’t see Him, He sees us. He recognizes us, He knows us, even from our most unflattering side. He calls our name in a gentle voice. We turn and see the familiar face, and then gaze in awe.
How did we miss it? Why did we not see Him standing there with lights illuminating His face. He helped us. He served us. He came even when we didn’t call.
He got dirty for us. He humbled himself and accepted a job that shouldn’t have been His. It wasn’t His brokenness. It was mine.
God finds us. He knows where we are when we need to be rescued (from the bugs), sheltered (from the rain), or comforted (with food & a bathroom). He mobilizes us so we can continue our journey home.
He may not always be obvious. And we might miss him the first time.
But He always comes back. The clothes and location may be different. The surroundings and situation may be unexpected. He rarely tells you His real name and when He does, we often forget.
So, when was the last time you saw God?
Maybe His name was Glen.