A Day in the Life

There is no “normal” day in my life. As I wake up I ask The Gardener to please select the flowers for the day’s arrangement and for the joy and strength to wholeheartedly give thanks and embrace it with joy. You don’t know, at least I don’t–God does, but He doesn’t tend to tell me–how in the world will this turn out? Here are a couple of less than joyfully anticipated episodes from this past week. Thank you to those who have been praying for me as I believe it was your work on my behalf that God used.

I had the flu for several days–the horrible kind that involves a pan by your pillow at all times–and on my first day back to almost-normal I decided to take a walk. My destination was a car body shop about 7 minutes by foot near where we park our car. (That’s another story for another day, but yes, we don’t park our car near our apartment.) The reason for the visit to the body shop was that the week before I’d been driving on a road the width of a hallway runner (okay, a slight exaggeration, but not by much) and I met a fence. It wasn’t really a fence but rather a series of short metal pipes with metal sheeting a farmer constructed at the side of the road to discourage vehicle tires from leaving the path and damaging his crops. It’s impossible to explain how in the navigation of a 5 point 90 degree turn one of these short metal pipes came between the bumper and the body of the car, but it did. And then I reversed. Everyone knows that “when a car meets a fence, the fence always wins.”

So . . . I walk into this this body shop praying, not knowing what to expect. I didn’t expect to see 5 men wearing pink jumpsuits. I’m sure they didn’t expect their day to involve a 50 some sick looking foreign woman dressed for arctic weather to walk into their shop. I explained I had a recalcitrant bumper and the manager pointed to an underling and said “go take a look.” So then and there the man walked with me to the parking lot to survey the damage. He looked and made various noises. (The Japanese language is able to communicate “this is not good” without having to utter an actual real word.) The man, in his pink jumpsuit, and I, dressed for the North Pole, sat on our haunches in the parking lot while he explained what vehicle parts would have to be removed to reach the problem before the problem could be fixed. I was feeling quite ill calculating the cost of labor and time necessary. When he stood he said, “I’m afraid it will be upwards to $60 and will take several hours.” Unbelievable! I went home to bake these wonderful men chocolate chip cookies. But I had not the strength, nor did my stomach want to smell any kind of food yet so instead I picked up a six pack for them. At the end of the day, I had a vehicle with bumper attached, and the men had their money, and their beer, and my new friend drove the car down the hallway runner road back to our parking spot for me.

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About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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