“An honest man’s the noblest work of God.” -Alexander Pope
After consulting with a big shop about tuning up my newly-acquired used car, they appraisal was: $2,000. I felt distressed, Really? That was beside the fixes they accomplished in a few minutes, a couple hundred dollars already. I had to use my credit card. And I thought they had fixed that nerve-wracking screechy sound it made whenever it moved. So I spent a couple hundred bucks and not even confident that the car I was driving was really safe. I had never, ever spent that much money in any one sitting- -nor did I ever have that much. I took the list of fixes they said they would do, and looked at it. Maybe there was a way to get the same services for cheaper somewhere else. But I, a woman with a new driving license in a new country, and did not know anything about cars- -I could tell the way they talked to me, they thought I was completely ignorant. They were right. Although I was, I wasn’t completely foolish to not notice what they were up to. And I figured that any shop I go to will have the same impression of me and probably try to charge me much. Seriously, that amount was almost half the price of the car which I have had to pay by installment for 3 years!
I did search for other places and asked a neighbor for tips. I just was worried, in the USA you can’t go places without a car and I had a job I needed to go to everyday! And I didn’t mind the bus, but winter would kill me. Mechanics aplenty, but I needed a cheap shop I can afford. I asked the Lord, and received one of the most unexpected, beautiful answers I’ve ever received.
Go to this Samoan guy, my neighbor said. He described the place and I went there immediately. Unfortunately he wasn’t there, the shop was closed, but beside his shop was a line of many other shops. There was just one open.
‘Hello!’ I hollered to the older man as I walked out of the car. He was an affable person, and from his appearance I could tell he came not far from my country of origin. I told him about the details and he listened intently. He checked my car and listed all the parts I needed to buy. When I came back he wrote down some more parts that he already had and the corresponding amount for every fix in the list. All in all, including the parts and services I paid him: $250! He got nervous when he saw the total, he said he didn’t know it could amount to that much (he was trying to make it as cheap as possible because I had told him about my dilemma). Minus the parts, he barely charged me for the services.
I then realized, here was the Lord’s answer to my prayer: an HONEST man! An honest man, a noble man, how rare, how beautiful. I tried not to cry while he spoke. In this city, with thousands of people able to help, the Lord knew whom he could trust. That was not the end of what I learned about him; everytime I go for an oil change I looked forward to talking with him, because he has such a pleasant spirit. He has many severe trials in his life, with a son who passed away, and a sick wife and an older son who is mentally ill, both under constant medication for many years. Fixing cars is his second job; and although his financial hardships gave him all the excuse, if not to charge more, to at least not be very kind in his financial dealings, it seemed that none of those situations could squeeze his soul to be less than noble and gracious. And although always greased and tired, I could see that inside of him was something far cleaner and brighter. Today he exclaimed to me: “Why so many trials in my life!” I almost felt a tinge of envy when he said that. Because he does not know, how much the Lord trusts him. And I could see that his trials were given him because the Lord trusts him that much- -to be good no matter what. I had wondered often, when the Lord needed some honest soul, whether he would pick me as he did this man.
I had learned since then that there are errands only an honest man can do. And that in this city, and in the rest of the world, are many able, privileged and blessed: but the Lord’s true treasure is an honest soul!
(Note: This experience was written sometime 2009-11, but happened 2 years previous)