On Friday evening we were headed out of town for a mini holiday, in fact our first proper holiday as a family! I dropped Scott at the train station for work that rainy morning, knowing that I had a full days work ahead of me with packing and cleaning, not to mention the usual full days work of taking care of Ella! When I pulled into a parking spot outside our house I realised that only one parking light was reflecting off of the car ahead of me. I got out and checked and sure enough, both headlights and a parking light were out (thankfully, brake lights and rear lights were fine!). Having not owned a car in the U.K. for very long, I had no clue where to go to get anything done and was feeling a bit stressed with the added task and potential cost. Thankfully a car parts place was only a couple miles away. So, hoping they could help me figure out if I’d blown a fuse or just needed bulbs, a little while later Ella and I set off with me praying that it would be dry while I was getting the car sorted.
We arrived at the parts place and got that look (as women often do when dealing with cars) that says all too clearly my toddler and I were out of place. I waited for nearly 5 minutes before anyone bothered to help me and just about the time someone decided to come to the counter a couple guys arrived behind me. I explained my problem and asked if anyone could do a quick check for me or tell me how to check my fuse box so I would know whether or not I needed to buy a fuse and a bulb or three bulbs. The guy behind the desk neutrally said they only sold parts and didn’t help people with their cars. I’d need to go to a mechanic for that. A middle aged English man, in blue coveralls, full sleeved tattoos on both arms, looking like he could be or had been in a gang, stepped forward and offered to check my car for me (he was one of the two men who had entered as I waited to be helped). I thanked him, accepted his offer and walked him to my car which was parked nearby. Once he’d decided that it was indeed the bulbs that had blown and not a fuse, he went back in the store with me to get the right bulbs. On the way back into the store he asked me where in America I was from and we chatted away about home and where where Scott, Ella and I were headed on holiday. I also explained that we hadn’t had a car very long in the U.K. and that when I used to own cars in America and needed parts, I’d pop into the parts store and they’d often instruct me on how to do something or do it for me if it was relatively simple. He shook his head sadly and said that unfortunately I wasn’t likely to find that kind of service in England and definitely not from people at an auto parts store.
After the man behind the counter brought out the bulbs, Mr. Tattoos (I unfortunately never got his name) said that he’d pop them in for me while I waited. 🙂 Once the bulbs were changed the lights worked perfectly! I asked the man what he was up to the rest of the day and he said he was actually a travelling auto repairs mechanic and was on a job with his coworker and had come to the parts shop to pick up a part. I thanked him for all his help and kindness and off he went. It had remained dry the entire time Mr. Tattoos had worked on my car and everything was sorted for just under £5! I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s care and provision rush over me as I got Ella settled back in the car and drove home. Had the guys not been a bit slow with service at the shop, I might not have been there when the traveling aunt mechanics strolled in and Mr. Tattoos wouldn’t have heard my need and offered to help! Thank you God for completely taking care of me in my place of stress and worry and thank you Mr. Tattooed Traveling Auto Mechanic for being a kind and willing instrument of help! Blessings on you!