I had a productive day planned. Randy was supposed to come in his borrowed truck to install the stovetop and microwave. I looked forward to getting my drawers and cupboards back in order. He still had not come by 1, and as I was getting ready to call him, my son called. “I have a problem,” he reported. His truck did the shake, rattle, clunk, and smoke dance on the way to get an estimate for repairing the damage from Saturday’s accident. He was stranded in Lansing.
Dennis came from work, although it was inopportune for him since the zone people were in the office to do inspections. I drove up from home. We had a family pow-wow in the parking lot of the abandoned BP gas station. After much discussion, observation, and phone call to the transmission shop, we decided it had to be related to the replacement of the water pump. Oh and look…there is a hose hanging loose. That must have something to do with something. Or is it related to Saturday’s collision? We left a message for the mechanic and said farewell to the truck until we can decide where we need to have it towed. Dennis drove Jeremy back to his apartment and then returned to his office while I headed for home.
On the way, my daughter called to inform me there was a truck in our driveway. (She lives down the road.) I knew it had to be Randy, but he hadn’t been answering his phone, and I had left several messages. I tried calling, but there was no answer. It was like his phone wasn’t even on. I called Abby back. The truck was now gone.
On the way home, I reflected on Jeremy’s frustration with an incident that had occurred while he was waiting for help. A big dude in a big SUV drove up and demanded to know who he was watching. He was quite confrontational and finally drove away satisfied that Jeremy really was having a problem and really wasn’t watching anybody. Jeremy was still upset an hour and a half later, wondering why the guy spoke to him the way he did, and said he was almost ready to get out of his truck and respond in like kind.
Back to Randy. I wrote yesterday that his dog had been killed and his truck had been totaled in separate incidents. He had been here and left a note. He was late today because he had been in an accident with his buddy’s truck. He could not call because his phone had flown out the window in the first accident. We’re going to try again tomorrow.
I can’t make this stuff up!
I reminded Jeremy that there are some irritations of life you just have to brush off like a pesky bug. It takes way too much energy to do battle on ant hills. The big dude might have been a jerk. But we also don’t know what issues he has been dealing with. To respond in like manner could very well have escalated the situation. And who knows what mountain that would have created.
I could have ranted at Randy about his perceived irresponsibility instead of listening and sympathizing. I could have crushed his spirit.
I turned to the book of Proverbs this afternoon.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.” Proverbs 26:4
“He who answers before listening–that is his folly and his shame. A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14-15
I think these relate today. How about you?
P.S. The original mechanic is out of town until the weekend. Another trusted car advisor is not so sure it’s not another issue. Stand by for chapter 2…