Yesterday included being in a car accident, getting robbed and getting really awful medical news. It wasn't a good day, but it wasn't the worst. The day after my 19th birthday still holds that dubious record. It wasn't the worst because I decided it was redeemable and I did something about it.
1) Stuck in an auto repair shop waiting room for 3 hours listening to country Christmas songs, I struck up a conversation with a woman there with her 9 month-old daughter. She'd been told by the manager that there were 11 (I counted) things wrong that needed fixing - having come in for an oil change... with a coupon. She didn't know what a tie-rod or CV joint was and she was going to head out, thinking that the shop was just trying to gouge her. I know them; that's why I go there; they're very reasonable (but slow).
"Jason, that's too much for her to deal with. If it were your car and you could only afford to fix one thing, what would it be?" He started to give the "well, it's all pretty important..." then looked at me and said she needed one particular thing done or she risked having a wheel fall off before Christmas. "How much would that be?" He gave a price that made the woman start saying no. "If she has it done right now, could you do it for $__?" He hesitated, said he'd run some numbers... "yeah. I have to fudge some numbers with corporate, but yeah." I told the woman she needed to get it done and she'd never get a better price. "And I'll throw in $20 of my own, because I want you to get this done."
A little later, Jason the manager came up to me and said, "Thanks. I didn't want her driving it like that. Your next oil change is on me."
2) At the hospital, I got a visit from the chaplain. He looked to be about 25 years old, so I asked him if he went to seminary locally (I know a lot of seminarians). He went to Vanderbilt. I knew someone who went to seminary there and we laughed about some things that would only be funny if you knew anything about going to school in Tennessee. We ended up talking about Job - I was having one of those days where "smite" and "riven" and other words never used any more seemed appropriate. Job's wife gets mentioned only once; she's usually quoted as saying, "You still insist on your integrity? Curse God and die." The Hebrew actually says, "Bless God and die," which I think is really interesting (in a way that interests very very few people).
The book of Job never gives one the answers one wants when one starts reading it and it's infuriating because of that. What I've come to see is that what's important is that, in reading it, you end up thinking about someone else's problems and standing in their corner against a God that seems arbitrary and vindictive. That's what's healing - getting out of your own problems and wanting to make sense of someone else's.
3) I went for a run. Ended up meeting "Steve in a Speedo" and "Pharmie." He took a photo of me, so I guess my kidding triathletes here will have to subside until I see what he does with it.
4) I successfully got rid of the phishing bot that's been visiting this blog.
Aid Station: Eugene Curnow
12 hours ago