Serendipity is such a lovely word.
Dictionary.com defines serendipity as, “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.” This website further defines serendipity as, “good fortune; luck.”
And a related word for serendipity, it appears, is serene. The obvious inference is a calmness or peacefulness.
Serendipity. It’s almost like a synonym for faith or “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Such would be the best way to define my recent encounter with an angel who appeared serendipitously into my life to provide practical assistance and recharge my battery of faith.
His name? Bryce. No wings, no halo, no golden aura, but nonetheless a bona fide angel that drove into my life.
Allow me to explain.
The forecast was for 100-plus degree temperatures on this particular first day of July in the far west part of Texas. While others scrambled for air-conditioned comfort, my shelter of “choice” was a four-tire sauna in the extreme heat of the day. I was the victim of an unresponsive, non-functioning vehicle, deader than a doornail car.
After many disappointing turns of the key in the ignition and only hearing clicking sounds, the early prognosis was a dead battery.
Spying a Walmart in the distance, my adventure continued as I began my trek to purchase a replacement. Fifteen minutes later and perspiration soaked, I arrived at the automotive department only to find that the old battery was needed to replace the new battery.
With frustration mounting and purchased tools in hand, the arduous journey back commenced to remove and exchange, what was thought to be, my vehicle’s problem. A defunct battery.
Returning to the scene of the crime the hood of the vehicle was raised like a white flag symbolizing my surrender.
Suddenly a voice in a thick Texas drawl asked, “Would you like some help?” With that question it seemed like the heat of the day was dramatically reduced by 20 degrees. Straightening up and turning around, I came face to chin with my 6’4”, gray-haired, mustached, cowboy boot-wearing angel.
I said, “I think I have a dead battery.”
Wanting to be the Lone Ranger and adhering to the code of the west, I tried to release him from my predicament by thanking and telling him that I was in the process of removing the battery from the car to take it over to Walmart. Introducing himself, he took a wrench from the set that was purchased and went right to work.
I watched amazed!
This man, who obviously knew his way under the hood of the car, easily disconnected the two cables. But then the difficult task of loosening the bolt that held the battery in place at its base presented a greater challenge. Difficult and challenging, only because the tools purchased were not the right tools for the job.
I watched, to my shame, as he struggled and persisted. Beads of sweat were falling off the brow of my angel, and I winced as he scraped his knuckles.
My turns were clumsy and reflected my mechanical inability. I was embarrassed.
He was gracious and ignored my futile attempts. Finally, he managed to loosen the bolt so that the battery could be removed.
“Thank you ever so much Bryce,” I said as I tried to prevent him from feeling any further obligation he might have felt. To my amazement he stated, “Hop in and I’ll take you over to get it swapped out.” Traveling to Walmart, in his vehicle, our conversation turned personal.
I asked questions about his family of which he freely responded. He shared that his daughter had recently gone through a painful divorce. His voice choked with emotion when he talked about the children and their mother. Bryce, my angel, had experienced this trauma together with his daughter and her family.
I offered prayer, encouragement and a Word of faith.
Being dropped off at the store front he said that he would be watching out for me, and that together we would take the battery back to the car. Upon emerging with my purchase and true to his word, he pulled up and off we went.
Arriving at the lifeless car, I did the installation myself. Somehow with him standing there I was filled with confidence and even dispelled the nagging question, “What if this wasn’t the problem?” Slipping behind the wheel of the car, the inserted key in the ignition was turned in synchronization with a whispered prayer of faith.
The engine roared to life.
With a sigh of relief and a quick prayer of thanksgiving, I bounded out of the car and shook my angel’s scraped knuckled hand. I thanked him over and over. He tried to minimize his involvement, but I knew better. If it hadn’t been for his involvement, my hot day would have grown even hotter and more exasperating.
Simply smiling, he thanked me for my words of encouragement on his and his family’s behalf and off he went in his vehicle.
Reflecting back on that hot afternoon I am left with the vivid memory of two strangers interacting under heavenly direction. One needed practical help; the other responded. This angel “rolled up his sleeves,” went to work and saw his mission of mercy to its completed end. The other stranger provided a listening ear and comfort as an angel shared his family’s pain.
This heavenly interaction of faith and practical support serendipitously transformed a frustrating, exhausting and hot afternoon into a refreshing memory to be relived with a pledge to be someone else’s angel.
My faith was strengthened and recharged towards The God of not only the large things of life, but the annoying little things of life that would corrode our well-being. How appropriate that this recharging of my faith should come from the need of having a charged or new battery placed in my vehicle.
Finally, my faith and lesson learned about needing others in this journey of life was fortified through my encounter with Bryce, my boot wearing angel.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Brian Aird emigrated with his parents to Chicago, Illinois and eventually enjoyed the small town life of Wausau, Wisconsin.
Upon graduation from high school and one year of study at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, a 10-year commitment of service in the United States Navy was afforded which included many opportunities of education, life experience and travel.
After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, he attended The Salvation Army School for Officer’s Training and was commissioned as an officer in The Salvation Army where he served in various communities throughout the western United States for a period of 12 years.
Following this life changing experience, the American Red Cross became a new arena of service for 10 years. Currently, his vocation is once again with The Salvation Army where he serves in Northern California as the business coordinator. Four lovely children and eight darling grandchildren decorate the lives of he and his wife.
He is an avid Green Bay Packers fan, enjoys the game of hockey and loves to write.
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