God wears all kinds of disguises

By Vinal Van Benthem | For The Compass | August 23, 2018

“He performed … great miracles … and protected us along our … journey.”

Glen is a tow truck driver in a small Wisconsin town in the southern part of the state. A few months ago I was driving down the highway on my way to Chicago when my car started to vibrate and I heard a noise: “Thwup-thwup-thwup-thwup.” I slowed down and, somehow managing to retain control of my car, maneuvered across three lanes of traffic and onto the shoulder. I stopped my car, slid across the front seat, opened the passenger side door, looked back, and saw pieces of my left rear tire scattered across the road. The smell of burning rubber told me all that I needed to know.

Maureen works for the motor club. From the moment she answered the phone I knew I was in good hands; “Are you safe? Is everyone OK?” It was only after I had assured her that I was in a safe place and that I was fine that she began to arrange for service. A half hour later Glen showed up. He pulled some levers and flipped some switches and a tow bar slipped smoothly under my car, effortlessly lifting it off the ground (how long would I have had to struggle with my jack to do that – if I had even been able to find my jack?). Less than a minute later he had the lug nuts off the wheel; another couple of minutes and the shattered tire was off, the spare was on (I didn’t even want to think about how long it would have taken for me to wrestle the spare out of the wheel well), lug nuts were tightened and I was on my way.

“He performed … great miracles ….” Maybe changing a tire doesn’t qualify as a miracle for some folks, but it sure felt like a miracle to me. “[A]nd protected us along our … journey …” Maureen even called back a few minutes later to make sure I was OK.

God comes wearing all kinds of disguises. Sometimes he looks like an elder or a judge; sometimes he looks like a tow truck driver or a motor club phone operator.

Van Benthem is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and a longtime pastoral minister in the diocese.

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