After class tonight, I headed over to Pasha’s restaurant to see if he might be there. I’m driving (with a healthy degree of shame) my dad’s Hummer H3 this week. I pulled into the parking lot, and parked very poorly. Since I’m not that guy who drives a Hummer, I hopped back in to adjust my terrible-ness.
Click click click click click.
Click click click click click.
Knowing that fluky things happen sometimes with cars, I called my dad, and indeed, he had a fluky click-clicking last year. He said he let the thing cool down and it started. So, I decided to let it sit, and entered the cafe, slightly hoping that if it didn’t start I could at least get Pasha to help me out.
Then this happened.
It was Pasha’s birthday, and a celebration broke out that is only rivaled in Eastern countries. I was a bystander, and I also knew that in this chaotic environment it would be difficult to get any assistance (perhaps especially because I needed help with a Hummer), especially from Pasha, the guest of honor. All of a sudden there was dancing, loud music, people secretly drinking, and me, sitting there reading a journal on Inter-religious Dialogue and hoping that that car will start later.
After about an hour and a half, I prayed for a fluke, and I went back to see if the clicking was a fluke. It wasn’t. So, I went back inside and asked someone if they might help me find someone to jump my car. The girl, who I assume is Pasha’s sister, found someone with jumper cables…but he was so drunk that he couldn’t remember where his car was. Literally. We walked through the parking lot twice looking for his car. No clue. Then he just walked away.
I went back inside to see if I could discover whose car was parked next to mine, based on the fact that the spot was empty when I pulled in, I went to the people who I thought had arrived after me to see if it was their car.
Nope. Strike two.
I went back to the car and tried again, called my dad (who was asleep), and then attempted to find the starter so I could tap the solenoid on the starter (which makes me sound like I know what I’m doing). I figured I would have to call a tow truck and hope that I could find my way back to the hotel.
I went back inside at my wife’s urging and asked every person in the restaurant if they were driving a Suzuki SUV.
Nope. Strike three.
I searched some more for the starter to no avail, and was about to look for a tow truck when a guy sort of appeared behind me. He asked me if I was needing a jump. I said that I don’t think it’s actually the battery since it’s clicking and not turning over. He agreed, and we stood there trying to figure out a solution. We decided that we would try to jump it anyway, and he helped me push the Hummer out into the parking lot so that he could jump it with his car. Meanwhile, a very large man came out to see what was going on. He told me about his cousin who owns a car repair place that we could get it towed to if/when it doesn’t start. He also helped hold the cables on the battery when we jumped it.
Miraculously, the Hummer started (about an hour and a half after I started my attempts at starting it). I told the guy that I was staying off of Sand Canyon in Irvine, and he said he works on Sand Canyon. He told me that, if it doesn’t start tomorrow, he can help me get to wherever I need to go because his work is flexible. Then he gave me his name (Brett) and number.
Brett became a hero, an answer to prayer, and a sign of God’s faithfulness to me. Yeah, it’s possible/probable that he’s just a really great guy that happened to be there tonight, but for me, he’s exactly what I needed, since I’m alone in Irvine with no transportation options other than the Hummer. Whether coincidence or answer to prayer, I’m grateful for Brett and grateful to God for being back at the hotel.
I tried the Hummer when I parked at the hotel, and it just click click clicked. I texted Brett, and he’s going to help me out in the morning. That’s hospitality, and that’s what it means to be a friend to strangers. I won’t forget that, and I will pass it along, in the name of God, and Brett.