Last week, on April 1, 2022, my husband and I were on our way home from an extended vacation in Florida when we hit a bump on the road. A flying sheet of plastic!
What harm could a piece of thin wrapping plastic do? But a large piece, the size of a blanket emerged from under the truck in front of us, was no minor problem.
Traffic along Hwy 270, a multilane by-pass for Washington, DC, was busy on a Friday morning. We were driving in the middle lane, with multiple vehicles flying on both sides and in front and behind. Going with the flow of traffic was the only way to avoid an accident. The plastic probably dropped from a truck several cars ahead of us, but a large truck in front of us drove over it, causing it to float in the draft. As we drove into it, my ears alerted by a thudding sound, over and over.
My husband kept his hands firmly on the steering wheel while driving at the speed of traffic.
Within a few minutes, we realized the plastic remained under our SUV. Soon he remarked, “Something doesn’t feel right. It feels heavy to drive.”
I suggested we pull over, but with the current traffic, it was impossible, so he kept driving and looked for an exit. The computer screen on the dashboard showed there was something wrong with the automatic all-wheel drive. That got us even more worried.
Finally, an exit—Germantown—came. We pulled off the highway and found a gas station.
Lucky it was not busy, so we found space in the parking area to tend to the problem.
As the saying goes, “Good things (people) come in small packages.” That my husband is a small man made all the difference in the world. He opened the hood to show that we had car trouble for the gas station owner. Then we both got down on the pavement to see if the plastic was still there. Yes, it was. Wrapped around the all-wheel rear drive shaft. What now?
Then he squeezed underneath the vehicle to pull the culprit out. It didn’t budge. It had spun tight. Being the problem solver, my husband shimmied out of there and pulled out a small knife we had in the glove compartment. That should do the trick!
Back under the 6,000 pounds of metal above my husband in that small crawl space, I worried and stood by the vehicle watching his legs stick out, and asked questions to make sure he was alive.
It must have been a sight because a man in a truck stopped and asked if I needed help. I don’t know if he saw anyone underneath the vehicle, but if he did, it sure looked like an accident scene—the legs of a person sticking out from underneath a vehicle. I assured we were okay and pointed to my husband’s legs on the pavement.
A normal miracle
I could only describe this kind of bump on the road as one of those normal miracles. It’s probably not that uncommon for debris to fall from transports or other vehicles onto the highways and cause a lot of damage and/or accidents. I am thankful that we avoided a crash, as I’m sure angels protected us.
Thankfully, the little knife did the trick and my husband’s patience helped. It took almost thirty minutes to cut and splice piece by piece until finally he had removed it. Some pieces had burnt marks as I collected the plastic and dumped the pile into the dumpster.
We continued our road trip without incident, but meandered through the Pennsylvania mountains, which took us up and then down for miles on end on two-lane highways. It seemed like we were in God’s country, especially when we got hungry. Where are the restaurants when we need them?
Since the warning light still haunted us when we got home and a small oil leak showed up, we got it checked at the garage. The news was not good. The whole all-wheel drive shaft had to be replaced at a cost of $8000! UPDATE Only a part of the drive shaft needed fixing. Cost only $1600!
I couldn’t believe it. But once I thought further, I can say we can be content in every situation. We only have to pay the $1000, the insurance deductible, and trust in God’s provision. And we were safely home.
If we dwell in disappointment, we can lose our joy, but if we find the secret to contentment, we’re going to be okay. A bump is only a bump!
I’m not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.Philippians 4:11 NIV