It was one of those June days in Phoenix when the temperature climbs close to 110 degrees. My wife had been at the mall with our three kids. Sometimes the best way to deal with the heat is to get out of the house for some shopping and lunch. The cooling off ended with everyone ready to get home. That is when the trip went sour. My wife loaded all the kids into the car and looked behind her and then backed our car into a new Cadillac Escalade. It could happen to anyone. Good news: Our car had no damage. Bad news: The Cadillac’s bumper was smashed. My wife left a note with her name and phone number and an apology. I prayed that the Escalade owner would be unable to make out her perfect handwriting.
The owner, let’s call him ‘Ed’ since that’s his name, called later that day and after a unusually friendly conversation he agreed to get two estimates for repair. I am thinking a couple of hundred bucks, tops.
Summer happens for us and for Ed. A month passes before the two bids are emailed to my wife. One of the bids came in at just over $530 and the other was for over $1,000. Yikes! I remind myself that teaching our children what it means to have integrity is worth it. I email Ed and ask if he would mind accepting cash for the lower bid.
He emails me right back. I take a deep breath and open the email. Here it is:
Jim, thanks for your response and the offer to pay for the damage. I did already have it repaired but someone up there told me that since your wife was so honest about the accident being her fault and with what I understand you do for people at your church and the fact that God blessed me I want nothing from you or Karen but a prayer.
The prayer he is asking for is not even for him. He asked if we would remember to pray for his granddaughter who is having a tough time. Yep, Ed, I think I can do that. I am praying for his granddaughter that the Lord Jesus be her guide and guardian through the teen years and that she acquire her grandfather’s love and generosity of spirit. Thanks Ed.