November 09, 2014

Travelling Mercies - Shirley S. Tye

Before heading out on a trip, I always ask God for a safe journey.  The morning of June 1, 2014, I said my usual prayer before my husband, John and I set off on a four and half hour trip to Toronto, Ontario.  Although our old Buick had taken us on many long trips, I felt uneasy that morning.  The car was twelve years old with about 250,000 kilometres.  I told myself that this would be the last long trip for the old vehicle, best to just drive it around town. 

Our plan was to visit my brother Erik, who was slowly recovering at St. Michael’s Hospital from a brain hemorrhage, that evening and the next morning go to my eye surgery follow-up appointment at Toronto Western Hospital and then drive home in the evening after one more visit with my brother.

I drove the first two hours.  After a brief a break, my husband drove.  As we were approaching Barrie on Highway 400, a multi-lane highway, the gauges on the old Buick went squirrelly and then the motor turned off.  John pulled hard on the steering wheel and managed to get the car safely onto the shoulder.  He turned the ignition key.  The car restarted without a problem and we were on our way.  A short distance down the highway, the car repeated its crazy antics.  Again, John wrestled with the steering wheel.  On the shoulder, he restarted the engine and got us back into the flow of the fast traffic.  But we felt leery and decided it would be best to take the first ramp off Highway 400 into Barrie and try to find a garage open on a Sunday.  As we turned onto the first exist ramp, the Buick’s gauges went crazy again and the engine shut down.  We coasted to a stop on the shoulder of the ramp.  John turned the ignition key but this time the engine did not respond.  He tried a few more times but there was no life remaining in the old Buick. 

Our plans quickly changed.  We called CAA and a tow truck took the Buick and my husband back to Sudbury; about a 300 kilometre trip.  Our nephew drove up from Toronto to pick me up.  I stayed the night with him and his family.  I traveled around the city by subway to visit Erik and go to my doctor’s appointment, and then rode a bus back to Sudbury.

Unfortunately, our mechanic was not able to repair the Buick.  A rodent killed it.  Yes, a rodent.  A little mouse had made its home in the air intake in front of the computer.  Because the nest prohibited air circulation for cooling, the computer overheated resulting in a fried computer.  The cost of repairs was greater than the value of the vehicle.  It was heartbreaking to say good-bye to my trusty car but time had run out for my mechanical friend.  But God had heard my prayer for traveling mercies.  A serious breakdown like that in heavy fast traffic could have resulted in a fatal accident.  If anyone had to die that week-end, I’m glad it was my car and not my brother.  He’s alive and well today with no brain damage.  Another prayer answered.   


  1. I guess the other fatality was the mouse... :) Glad to hear you are all okay. God is good.

  2. A 'side' lesson here would be how it's the 'little foxes (or in this case mouse) that spoil the vine.

  3. Shirley, I appreciate the fact that you allow God's mercy to be in the fact that while your car met its demise, you and your husband remained safe. We so often expect the Lord to meet our definition of 'safe' and 'mercy' that we sometimes miss how wonderfully he's cared for and provided for us (CAA and your nephew) in the midst.

    And I like your writing style. You tell a great story!

  4. What an awesome story about an awesome God. I agree with Bobbi about your writing style. As I read, I can feel the pull of the steering wheel and the struggle your husband had wrestling to get the car safely to the side of the road, especially on the curve of an off-ramp. Your prayers were answered!

  5. It's comforting to think God has control over the mechanical as well as the human!
    Perhaps too the rodent was God's agent in terminating poor Buick before some nastier ending.

  6. God is so good and kind--often in ways we don't understand until they are history. I am thankful for that. Thanks for the reminder.


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