Marco, the Mechanic

“God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you where ever you go.” Psalm 91:11

It was last Thursday. February 13, 2014. My Dad’s birthday. He would have turned 98.

Heavy snow was predicted for Massachusetts, starting at mid-afternoon. The forecasters were slightly off, and it started to come down as of noon. Around 1.00pm, Bill, the nicest boss I’ve ever had came up to me and said, ‘Merc, finish what you are doing and try to head home’. I did just that at 1.30pm.

By 2.00pm, I’m on route 128, that well-known thoroughfare that loops around Boston, and by now, the snow is at a steady clip of 2-3 inches per hour. Visibility was reduced to next to zero. I was rolling along at a snail’s pace in the right middle lane, and suddenly my wiper blades stopped working. And I mean, completely ceased.

The snow is now piling up on my car’s all sides, my slow ride became a crawl, I simply couldn’t see an inch ahead, and I finally came to a full stop, right in the middle of one of the busiest highways in the nation. Even the side windows were caked up with the wet slush. Every few seconds, I’d roll down the windows to see the sides of the road. Each time, the interior of my ‘Camry’ would get spilled and filled with a lot of the white powder.

At this point, the obvious alternative I had was to go to the right lane, then try to exit. I couldn’t. I couldn’t tell if I was in the right lane and going into a ditch. Call me stupid, I decided the better option was to stay where I was. I put the hazard lights on, put the car into park.

I was afraid to get out and clean the blades. Again, I strategically decided getting rear-ended with me sitting in the car belted, was a slightly better option than getting hit standing on its side. You pick!

I used my cell (those who know me well, would know that this is a rarity) to call 911. The dispatcher said she’d send the state police and a tow truck but needed to know my location. I couldn’t tell her, because it was virtually impossible to see the highway signs. I said, ‘somewhere past Burlington and Bedford on 128 south’.

As I was sitting there panicked and slightly out of my element, a truck stopped by to ask if I needed help. I responded, that the police were on their way, thanked him much the same.

As minutes passed, however, there was no sign of either the police or the said tow truck.
I tried the defogger at full speed/low speed, hot and then cold, up then down, none made any impression on the stubborn wiper blades. They simply wouldn’t budge.

Then: after what seemed a very long time, another truck drove by, came to a full stop right next to me, on the driver side. Its passenger side window was rolled down. ‘The driver’ asked me what was wrong. I explained.

Then: he literally got out of his car, walked over to mine. (You have to imagine this scenario, of 2 vehicles at dead stops in the middle of 128 in a raging snow storm, to get a feel for the situation). This gentleman examined my car, the blades, and gave it a ‘good clean’, asked me to restart the engine and to turn on the wipers once again.
They were now working.

As soon as he touched my car, somehow I ‘felt’ he would ‘fix’ it, and I pleaded, ‘before you go, you have to give me your name and number’. He pretended not to hear me. I appealed to him again. At my repeated insistence, he said, ‘it’s Marco’, that’s all you need to know.’ he continued, ‘I’m a mechanic, that’s how I know these things.’
I thanked him profusely, he got back into his truck, waited until I had driven a good distance, and then off he went into the mushy mess.

Meanwhile, there was a flurry of phone calls going back and forth to my husband. His reaction to the whole thing will not go out in print here.

This past December during Advent, our Seena Kochama gave a devotional message about the appearance of ‘real angels’ in our every-day lives. Subsequently in January, Reverend James did a study on a similar topic. Both messages were referencing the ‘Annunciation to Mary’, as according to the Gospel of Luke. Both times, I listened with great interest.
In the latter gathering, our friends, Monachen and Lilly, gave a testimony about one of their encounters with an ‘angel’, about a man who spotted some car trouble they were having on a highway, guided and followed them into a parking lot at an exit, proceeded to repair whatever was ailing their car with the tools in his car, and when asked what they could ‘do for him’, answered ‘just follow Jesus, that’ll be enough’.
I remember sitting in that study session, wishing an angel of the Lord would appear to me.

I was overwhelmed by my circumstantial ‘angel’, enough I was narrating the story to Alex, my co-worker, whom I call ‘the best Christian I know’, (he really is), a non-church-goer at that. I asked Alex what I could ‘do for God’ for this ‘angel visit’. Alex said, ‘Nothing. Just thank Him from the bottom of your heart, He doesn’t need anything from you, He already has everything’.
And added, ‘but maybe you can say a prayer for Marco.’

So here goes.
Dear and all-powerful God! Please take care of Marco and his children forever, and then in eternity.
Thank you, Papaji. I guess your job is not done yet. I’m sure you know that.

This is my testimony for 2014.

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