God’s Economy: A Tale of Joe – The Mechanic
Whew! We have an extra hour of sleep today, but alas, since I am writing this post, I will have to catch my zzzs later!
With the election just over two days away (Thank You Jesus!), I thought I would tell my story about a Joe I know. Instead of Joe the Plumber, however, my Joe is Joe the Mechanic! Yes, his name is really Joe! I once read a Christian book years years ago, Knight in Shining Armor by P.B. Wilson, in which Wilson described “God’s Economy.” As our Provider, according to Wilson, one of the ways that God provides for us is through Gifts-in-Kind, which is “goods or services that God gave you through other people. For example, you moved into a new apartment and the manager waived your security deposit of $200.” After I read this passage, I started looking for ways that God blessed me with breaks through random people.
So nearly 10 years ago, I was sitting in a Honda dealership staring blankly into space as I pondered how I was going to cough up the $500 or so, maybe even a bit more, that I would need to pay to get my cracked head gasket in my black Civic (R.I.P. Black Beauty) fixed. After a few minutes, I figured that I would just ask my Dad to pay for it and pay him back later. However, as I stared, this woman came over to me said something like, “You know I heard them tell you how much it was going to cost to fix your car and that was outrageous! You know what I do? I just bring my car to the dealership and let them tell me what’s wrong with it, and then I bring it to my mechanic, Joe. And he fixes it for a whole lot cheaper. He’s a certified mechanic, and he’s honest. I can give you his pager number if you like.”
I looked at the woman and said, “Thank you. I will probably get the dealership to fix my car this time, but I will keep his number for the future.” So the woman wrote down his number on a slip of paper and handed it to me. I’m not the type of person that goes around getting recommendations from people for various services, but for some reason I just knew that I would be calling this Joe the mechanic in the future. And since my Civic was getting old at that point and it was nearly paid for (y’all know how that is), all kinds of stuff started malfuctioning and Joe became my mechanic. I would go to the dealership to get the problem diagnosed and then I would bring my car over to Joe’s house where he would fix the problem for a fraction of the cost quoted to me.
If you’ve been anywhere near my car lately, you have heard the brakes squeaking, and since I recently have come back from two trips, I didn’t want to think about shelling out more cash to get them fixed. So what has been my antidote? Y’all, I promise you that I have just been turning up my radio and acting like I don’t hear anything. And then when you have the nerve to look at me crazy while my car is squawking, I just start moving my lips like I’m singing the song playing on the radio and I don’t see you. (Wow, I was crazy embarassed while I was backing out of a long driveway last weekend, and my car was squawking the whole way. It would have been cool if people hadn’t come out of the house to help me back out because apparently, it is still a challenge for me.)
Anywho, when I went to the Honda dealership last week to get my oil changed, the oh-so concerned mechanic guy comes over to me in the waiting area and gives me a shopping list of services that need to be done ASAP. When I just stare at him expressionless and he realizes that I will not be buying into his hysterics, he said, “Well I know you heard those breaks squeaking and they do need to be fixed immediately.” I said, “I have, and I know they need to be fixed. Ima get my mechanic friend to fix them this weekend.” “If they can last that long,” he said loudly. (He ain have to say that like that.) Then he gives me a sheet of paper outlining the costs of his recommendations. I hone in on the cost to fix the front brakes: $199 plus tax. Relatively speaking $200 is not a large amount of money, but when you have other pending bills – (In a perfect world, the speed limit would always be 80 mph on the highway…), you have to watch yourself.
So that was Monday. So I finally called Joe on Thursday. (ever the procrastinator!) I told Joe what was up with my brakes.
“So much you gon charge me Joe,” I said to him.
“$50,” he replied. (Side note – Joe always tells me what parts to buy at AutoZone, and he just charges me for the labor!)
“Really,” I said. “If I knew that it was going to be that cheap, I would have called you a while ago.”
He just chuckled in his men-don’t-like-to-waste-words way.
And since we’ve become friends over the years, sometimes he just comes to my house, picks up my car and takes it back to his house to fix like he did yesterday morning. And yes, he likes to flirt with me and occasionally ask me out, but it’s all good. He’s not pushy or anything so I say something like “Stop playin’,” and that’s enough for him to not ask me out again until the next time I see him. Of course, recently, he told me that I was probably too old for him now. However, he added that since I look younger than my age, he could make an exception for me…
So there you have it. In God’s Economy, He loves to bless you through other people. So it’s not only about what you think you have, it’s also about what God has… The possibilities are endless! That’s comforting to remember in these turbulent economic times…
P.S. That picture is not actually a pic of Joe!