A Repo, A Friend and The Beach

I had to tell a friend about my car being repossessed.

My goal was for no one to know of my situation. I was more comfortable with dealing with this on my own. However, I needed to get the contents out of the vehicle which included a toddler size car seat that belonged to a client. Then I had to return the car seat to a client. I could not carry all of these items while traveling by bus. This meant I needed help. So I called a friend.

“Two are better than one…If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV

It was easy to mask the issue at the beginning of our conversation. I simply told her what I needed to do but did not tell her why. She began to probe with questions and concerns. This was not out of nosiness. She just needed a few details in order to plan her day accordingly. I averted as much as I could but eventually had to be transparent. She listened with an empathetic ear. Then she responded with a suggestion.

She was happy to help but did not want this task to be the event of the day. So, she said she would take me to do what I needed then we would go do something to get my mind off of things. She had a few ideas but settled on a picnic at the beach. The purpose was not to dismiss the serious debacle I was in. She wanted to provide a moment of clarity. She did not want sadness, shame and disappointment to be the highlight of my day.

The next day she arrived with a blanket, a picnic basket full of goodies and a small tent. She was not somber. She came in with a smile. She was ready for the day. It was infectious. We drove the near hour to retrieve my belongings from the vehicle. We arrived a bit early so we went to a grocery store to pick up a few more items for the beach. Then it was time.

I was expecting to see the car once more but I was told to wait in the front where my belongings would be brought out. After a few moments, the man emerged with a large brown bag and two car seats. I looked through the bag then loaded everything in my friend’s car.

At this point, I was expecting the sadness and shame to set in. Somehow, I was not feeling either. My friend asked what I was going to do now. I really did not know. I just knew I was in a crazy state of peace. I felt like a burden had been lifted. We drove to my client’s home to return their car seat. Then we headed for the beach.

Great conversation made another hour long drive go by quickly. We talked about work, our dreams, aging, knowing and not knowing God’s plan. We shared details of our lives that brought us closer. We encouraged each other. The day was becoming more beautiful with each passing minute.

We arrived in the late afternoon. There was a nice breeze and about an hour left before sunset. Then she pointed to a very steep cliff and said our destination was just over those rocks.
“Uhh. What now? You want us to climb that?”
Yes, she did. The task seemed second nature to her. I, however, had never really hiked anything in my life. I saw people going ahead of us. Some were clearly children.
“Trust me,” my friend said. “The other side is so worth it.” She forged ahead encouraging me that I could do it. So, I took the challenge.

Slowly, but surely, I made my way over the rocks, through the paths and up the cliff. It was not easy. I was holding a bag of food in one hand in a folded tent in the other. I slipped a couple of times. There were moments I wanted to turn back. I kept hearing my friend say, “The other side is so worth it.” She was right.

The small, secluded beach on the other side was beautiful. I stood in awe of the sounds of the crashing waves. We were not able to pitch the tent due to a couple taking wedding pictures. I enjoyed getting a peek into this highlight of their lives. The sight of her beautiful gown seemed to fuse into the rippled foam of the waves.

We turned to hike back down to the original shore. We found a spot and settled in for the sunset. We ate sandwiches and snacks. I walked the shore line. I allowed the soft, cool sand to massage my feet and tickle my toes. I took in the fresh sea air. I looked out at the ocean and saw my first whale sighting. It was a family of these amazing mammals, swimming to their next destination. I thought about the massive butterfly migration I had witnessed, earlier this year. I was fascinated by God’s creation. I was reminded of how He said they live and move.

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet our heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26 NKJV

The sun began to set behind the mountains. The colors that painted the sky were a sight to behold. I stood in awe.

I met up with my friend so we could pack it in. We got a good laugh as we tried to fold the tent back into its jacket. We got in the car and headed down the beach road. We passed a seaside restaurant where I recalled a wonderful dish I had in the past. My friend spontaneously turned around. We ordered the dish and caught a few last views of the ocean before leaving. On the drive home, we talked a little and listened to good vibe music.

I wish I can put the beauty of that day into words. This could have been another sad moment in the saga of this repossession. A friend emphatically said, “No!” She turned the day into a memory I will cherish for life. Retrieving my belongings was such a small part of that day. I see it only as a precursor to an opportunity to witness God’s greatness. Maybe that is part of His purpose for the whole experience.

I’m watching and waiting.

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