Artscape, my favorite yearly event, was fast approaching. My dad who I had not talked to in about four weeks volunteered to give me a ride to and from the event because finding a legal place to park is an event in itself, but I declined (politely). I wanted to make things right with him but with the way I had been treating him, I did not think it was fair for me to accept his offer but I let him think I declined because I was still upset. Off I went. I scored a prime spot near the intersection of Park Avenue and McMechen Street. No “no parking” signs, no meters; cool. I made a note in my phone so I would remember.
I had a wonderful Friday at Artscape with my friend; I got there around 9:30 am and walked around for miles before leaving. The sun set about 8:30 pm so I headed back to my car at 8:00 pm. Pastor T calls me and ask me to prepare something for Saturday. No problem, “I’ll be home around 9:00, I’ll call you back when I get in.” I walk back to Park and Mosher….(dude, where’s my car) I can not find my car anywhere. Up, down, across, back and forth in the dark; “I must be losing my mind.” I just knew it had been towed.
“Pastor T…I lost my car so I do not know when I can get back to you”, not a problem.
Next, I called my mom knowing that she would tell me to call the one person I did not want to ask for help…dad, and she did. Before I called him, God stopped me in my tracks and said, “This is what you wanted, right? Well start talking.” I called my dad and he said he would come get me, just like that. I was so tired. I was tired when I decided to leave but in losing my car, I walked about a mile and a half on my burning feet and sore legs. My legs were so stiff that if I had sat down on the ground I would not have been able to get back up. I meandered some more still looking for my car. I called the number listed for towing services at a private lot (Greenwood towing is ubiquitous in Baltimore).
“Hi, I think my car may have been towed.”
“Were you parked on a private lot?”
“No, on the street but there are no signs that indicate who to call.”
“Well, we do towing for private lots, you will have to call the city at this number (410) xxx-xxxx.” (I thank God, there happened to be a highlighter and scrap of paper in my bag)
I call the number and some guy gives me some explanation for why that number is incorrect and gives me another number to call…which was not in service. I call him back and he gives me another non-working number (you had ONE job sir). Finally I have the bright idea to call “311” Baltimore’s non-emergency hotline. I call and give the lady my information.
“Ms., we don’t have that car in our system. What makes you think you were towed, were there “no parking” signs up?
“I was sure there were no signs, but now I see them everywhere. I thought maybe I overlooked them and got towed.”
“Well, your car is not in our system so it’s unlikely you were towed.”
“Ok, thank you, bye bye”
Thank you Jesus! I wasn’t towed (probably) but I still can’t find my stupid car (misdirected anger). “Wait, it was Park Avenue and Mosher Street right?” I check my phone…”Park & McMechen”. After banging my head against the wall in frustration at my own stupidity I realized that I still had no idea where McMechen was. While checking the wall for structural damage, having used my head like a wrecking ball, my dad drove up.
“My car is at Park & McMechen. I don’t know where that is though.”
“That’s about a block away.”
“Of course it is.” Thank God I was not looking for the Promised Land.
As I gazed longingly at the wall (just kidding about the wall part) I asked, “Why Jesus? Why?” and he said, “You already know.”
I told my dad that I wanted to talk to him but I had to work on what Pastor T asked me to do first and he agreed. Well, I got in the house around 11:00 p.m. and finished my work around 12:00 a.m. I figured my dad was sleep and I reasoned that I could talk to him after I came back home from church that evening but God said, “If you procrastinate, you will regret it.” So I went to my dad who was surprisingly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and apologized. You know what? He forgave me, just like that. No condemnation, no anger, just love. That just reminded me of how God in his infinite love for me, forgives me for my sins and shortcomings in the same way. He did not understand everything I said, which was disappointing but our relationship was repaired, I got to witness God moving in my life and I got to tell my dad about my experience with God and how God had his hand in the situation.