A picture of the miracle car.  Or one like but not the actual miracle car.  I think.


Last week I wrote about the commandment to codify that Jesus offered His people.

To that end, and as an offering, I’d like to record this story (which, if I’m really good, I will print on acid-free paper and place in my files).  I’ll acknowledge upfront that some stories are too sacred to share on a blog—but this one is sacred because of its beauty and goodness and that’s the kind of story I feel a daily injunction to share.

And it came to pass that when I was a senior in college, one of my parents’ cars died.

This meant that in order for my mother to run around and bear the burdens of her community and her church, my dad needed to take a bus to work.  It was a complicated commute, involving bus changes and walking.  Driving to work took him 20-30 minutes; commuting without car took him 50+, each way.  Also, not having a car made fulfilling his calling as the district president (the leader of a handful of small LDS congregations) increasingly complicated, particularly because in our close-to-the-NYC-public-transportation-grid-but-not-quite, only a comparatively small number of people own cars.

At the time, my parents could not afford to purchase another car, so they began to pray that a way would be made available to them to have a car my dad could use.  They did not know how this could be fulfilled.

One day after they had begun saying private prayers about a car, a woman in our branch (a small LDS congregation) walked up to my parents and said, “I have an old car I don’t use any more.  It runs, but I don’t need it, and I wondered if you might know someone who needed it.”  My parents ended up buying the car from her for $1.

My father commuted with that car everyday for a couple of months—until I began teaching at a high school six miles away from where I was living in Provo, Utah.  Though I didn’t know how I was going to get to and from work each day, I didn’t worry much about it because I was 21 and was silly and didn’t think through those things.

My father called me one day and said, “Would you like to use our car?  I can drive it out to you.”  I said, “Sure, Dad.  Thanks!”  So he took time off work, drove from New York to Utah, flew home, and went back to taking the bus.  An hour, each way, to and from work, every day.  Which sacrifice he never mentioned or complained about or reported on.  (I write this of course at a time of life when my commute is 30+ minutes, which relatively small time investment still drives me crazy.  Buses?  I can’t imagine having to take multiple buses.)

It was years before I even thought about what him giving his car to me meant to him and to my mom and to the universe they were trying earnestly to host—that giving me their car meant my parents had to go back to the life that was so hard they had prayed for a miracle.

My parents are a blessing, and that car was a miracle.  First to them, then to me.  Even so.  Amen.