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GAS UP (God always shows UP)!

You just shut the big red church door, and you go outside to find your ride, but you see her driving away. It's after choir practice, 8:45 p.m., dark and cold. The door you shut is solidly locked as are all the doors to the church. You are 85 years old, standing shakily with the aid of your new walker, and the streets are still covered with spotty snow. It's about 28 degrees. You have no cell phone, and you are on a dark narrow street, afraid to knock on doors of people who have not been great neighbors to the church. They're always angry about parking, since the church has only street parking, and it's somewhat crowded on Sunday. Knocking on a door doesn't seem a good option. You decide to try to walk to the main street, several blocks up and hope for a safe ride. You are shaking from fear, crippling arthritis and the cold.

Just about 13 steps later, you realize you cannot even make it to the main street. You're close to the dark intersection of two small streets. You stand still and pray with all your might for help.

The saddest and most ironic part is that this is just the second choir practice you've attended since feeling strong enough to get back to your life-long church, thanks to new medication and surgery for your avascular necrosis. A month ago, you were crying on the phone to your pastor; you were ready to give up on your brittle bones, and you were tired of your constant pain. Well, God showed up mightily for you when a new doctor thought you might not need risky surgery after risky surgery. You were handling this condition well with new medication and injections with physical therapy. But now, here you are in a disastrous situation. Your son is at home, but he doesn't have a car, and you have no way to call him. With your heart beating like a nauseating drum in your dry mouth, you start waving at a series of cars that are coming through the intersection. Four keep going, giving you strange looks, but one stops and the driver calls out the window to you.

"Do you need help?" she asks, as her toddler looks wide-eyed at you with your long thick gray hair in a bun, and your bright red coat flaring around your walker.

"I need a ride," you say in a limp voice that doesn't sound like your normally strong alto.

"Hop in," she says without hesitation, and off you go on the ten minute drive to your home. She is a young woman with jet black hair and soulful large eyes. She tells you her parents are from India but she was born here. Her name is Maya, the name of Buddha's mother, she informs you. She's a single mom, since her husband left her to return to India unexpectedly. She's trying her best to support her daughter and not rely on her parents for too much, since they are also trying to support several of her younger siblings. You reach in the old blue pocketbook you've been clutching with a death grip, sure someone would stop to rob you, and you start to pull out a ten dollar bill. She shakes her head. "No," she says as she helps you up the path to your home because there are ice patches on the steps to the porch. You hug her and go inside. Your son is relieved to see you. With just a slight bit of irritation that comes over you once you feel relief at being home, you call the woman who left you at church. "No worries," you say, "I made it home."

She is quiet. "What?"

"You left me at church! I had no way home. Everyone was already gone."

Whether your delinquent driver feels defensive or upset, she comes off uncaring. "Well isn't that your fault for not having a cell phone?" You sigh. You say you understand it was an accident. She says that she was upset with some arguments choir was having over what song to sing, plus they were being gossipy. You hang up with forgiveness, but you feel the sting of her uncaring defensiveness.

This story isn't over. You, nor your son, drive nor have a car, so you call an uber the next day in order to get to the doctor's. The uber pulls up, and the driver looks out the window! It is Maya! "What in the world!" you chirp happily. "You're an Uber driver?"

"I am," she laughs, as she helps you into the passenger seat. "You know what?" she said with a serious tone. "My daughter's daycare yesterday closed down because the parking lot was empty, and I left her with my parents. I was able to work late, since they kept her. Otherwise, I would never have been on that road that time of night." Tears spring to your eyes.

God always shows up!

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