What’s Under the Hood?

I reluctantly admit I am the female version of Oscar of Felix and Oscar (The Odd Couple) 

I am a very visual person and need my plans for the day where I can see them. At times those towering stacks include recipes/recipe books, items to mail, writing ideas, things to do, and more.  

Yesterday I was in a whirlwind.  I’d had my list of to-dos stacked up on the table again and Mister was bemoaning the offense, when the phone rang. Long missed missionary friends were in the area and would stop over later that afternoon if we were available. Gladly we’d make ourselves available!

Racing around together, Mr. Neat started on his most important goal – vacuuming.  I on the other hand, do last things first, so I began making a pot of soup for a light dinner. We began to get in one-another’s way. I asked (ok ordered) him to leave the papers until I got back, and dashed off to the store for a missing ingredient and a dessert.

I quickly found the items and ran for the car.  It was raining lightly and a wind was picking up.

Parked behind my car was a small and obviously well used hybrid and next to the car, with a few papers in his hand was a very tall, very big man.  I felt God’s nudge to ask the man about his car. 

Now?  I still have to get home, finish the soup and take care of those papers.

But…I’ve learned if I don’t obey I will feel the loss of an opportunity, so I asked, “How do you like that hybrid?”  Next thing you know Robert began opening the hood of the dented and beat-up car and showing me things I knew nothing about but that led to some interesting conversation.  When he told me originally, when he bought the car cheaply from someone who couldn’t get much for it on trade in, he planned to fix and resell it.  But when he learned about the Prius, he began to value what was under the hood. God gave me the idea to liken that experience to getting to know one another and appreciating the value that is often hidden at first glance. We talked about how many people look at one another the way we might look at his life-banged-up car, and don’t immediately see the value.

We had some great conversation including Robert confirming that he was confident we’d meet again in heaven.  Robert held up the papers I’d noticed in his hand that had been flying about the parking lot. It only took a minute, he said, to pick up a few and leave this place a little neater.  This conversation was like that, he explained… Shouldn’t we all be leaving each place, each person a little better?


“Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4:29 – God’s Word)

Turns out Robert is a new believer, and when I ran to the car in the rain, he came over and knocked on the window. Hey, he said, I think God set up our meeting with the car and everything. Would you pray for me, and I will pray for you? 

I was so glad I obeyed the nudge.

Yes, I was rushed when I got home, and yes, I hid all those papers in the closet and my Hubby praised all the wood that was exposed by its absence.  

But yes we praised God even more for the reminder to slow down, look around (and under the hood) and see what we can say or do to leave encouragement wherever we go. 

Is your life filled, too, with piles of to-do urgent things in the middle of the little details of life?

Do we know what’s under the hood or are we so busy running to and fro that we miss a God-sent mission?

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