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Cars and Karma

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I took my truck in two days ago to have them work on my radio.  It kept switching stations on me and it was still under warranty so I took it to the dealership in Norwood to have them  reprogram it. The service manager told me it would take about an hour so I went to the waiting room to read a book.  I was alone in the room for about fifteen minutes and was really immersed in the mystery story I had chosen.  A young woman came in and sat down across the room and she began talking on her cell phone.  She must have had a close friend on the other line because she was sharing fairly loudly a  lot of her troubles with this person.  She must have been talking for over a half hour and in that time I found out why she was there (she was getting a car key replaced), where her new job was going to be, why her daughter hadn't been in school for two days, when her next court date was and a whole bunch of other stuff.  I was annoyed.  Here I had been sitting, reading a good book and minding my own business when a person with poor grammar loudly shared her world with a room now occupied by several strangers.

Several times I scolded myself for having unchristian thoughts about this woman and her phone.

And then it happened.  The service manager came into the room and told her they had fixed her key problem but he warned her that if she turned off her car it would not start again because her battery was shot.  She asked him what it would cost for a new battery and he said $130 dollars installed.  She said she only had $120 on hand so she would not be able to have it done.  The manager left the room.

I just had to smile.  Here, I had been grumbling about this poor women and the inconvenience she was causing me with her troubling conversation and God whispers in my ear, "help this person in need."  I got up from my chair and walked over to her and asked, "How much do you need?"  She told me she was ten dollars short.  I gave her the ten dollars, She thanked me and I returned to my chair to read my book.

A few minutes later she came back to me with the ten dollar bill in hand and said she wanted to give me back the money because she had not figured in the cost of the key replacement.  I once again got up from my chair and said, "lets fix this."  So, she and I walked over to the manager's station and I said to the manager, "Give me your best deal on a battery and I will make up the difference."

He looked through a coupon book, found a $25 coupon and applied it to the bill.  She contributed all of her cash and I made up the difference.  She thanked me profusely and wished me a merry Christmas.  I wished her one as well and ended our conversation with God bless you.  By that time both of our vehicles were ready and we went our separate ways.

I am writing this story because it is something I have observed in my life.  It seems that whenever I start to have negative feelings toward someone, God finds a way to move me closer toward him or her.  I am grateful for those lessons because they teach me that I need to love my neighbor and that means ALL of my neighbors.

She is really a very nice and kind person.

Fr. Fred

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