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Monday, November 29, 2021  

THE TARNISHED TRUCKPublished 6/23/2003

A friend of my husbands gave him a truck. It wasn’t an ordinary truck. It was a 1963 Chevy that had been deserted and mistreated. The paint consisted of three shades of green, along with gray primer that dotted the bare spots. It had rust peeking through, and patches of dents scattered about. With broken taillights and windows missing, it wasn’t much for looks. But, it had a great personality. It had four tires and ran great!

One particular Saturday, one of the hottest days of the summer, we had just finished having a garage sale. There were several large boxes full toys, clothes and miscellaneous items that didn’t sell. We decided that we would load up the back of the truck with the remaining items, and donate them to The Jesus House, a shelter for less fortunate families.

With the truck loaded to the max, my husband and I, and our two small children, climbed into the front. The hot air blew in, as the four of us seemed to cling to one another from the stickiness. Adhering to the torn upholstery of the seats, our bodies had nowhere to move.

Finally, we arrived, hot and thirsty! Just inside the gated area, we saw Sister Ruth. She came over, holding a clipboard and pen. She looked at the four of us, then at the tied-down boxes. Summing up the situation, she said, "Come on in, out of the heat, and we’ll get you checked in. Why, you’re just in time for supper."

"Oh no, we’re not here to check in, we have some donations for you," my husband said, his face red with embarrassment. With a hand over her mouth, and a gasp, Sister Ruth realized that she had misunderstood. She pointed us in the right direction.

As we unloaded boxes of clothes, several children ran over to us and began admiring each piece. "Ohhh.... ahhh.... look at this one,’ we heard them sigh. Their faces lit up as we saw excitement in their eyes. One little boy spotted a blue T-shirt sporting a baseball logo. "Mama, mama, look what I found!" he shouted, as he ran off, waving it in the air. A little girl ran to a doll that seemed to be peeking over the edge of the box. She cradled the doll in her arms, rocking back and forth.

That night, I thought about our mistaken identify. Sister Ruth was there for us invited us into her humble home. She had looked past the tarnished truck, seeing a chance to share God’s love with us. She had succeeded. We all received many blessings that day.

Isn’t that what God wants us to do? To see past the tarnished trucks that cross our pathways?

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