Through a series of graces, Ken and I found ourselves in Cleveland, Ohio yesterday. One of the Readers at my church was having car trouble and mentioned it to a priest, Father John Henry at St. Herman's Monastery. Father John told Andew that he had a car and that Andrew could have it as a gift. Then, Andrew didn't have car trouble any more, and he had an Ah Ha moment. "Ah Ha!" he said, "Claudia needs a car." And that is how we ended up in Cleveland yesterday.
It was an interesting trip. Andrew's car doesn't have any heat, and of course, it was wicked cold. All of us were bundled up, and I sat in the back seat, scruched up as much as can be acheived belted in the back of a 10 year old Escort. You all know that this is not my season, so there I was, curled into myself, certain that I would not survive the three and a half hours it would take to get there. Somehow, during my pondering freezing to death, I mercifully fell asleep, and when I woke up, we were there.
It was a big, Victorian house. It had a chapel inside. It was freakishly like the book I'm working on, only my book's Victorian house with the chapel inside is a community primarily for addicts. This one was for the homeless. It is an amazing place, and if you are ever in Cleveland, look up St. Herman's Monastery and House of Hospitality and give a little something for the work of the ministry. It is sustained by God's providence. They accept no government grant money.
We had to wait around a little while for Father John Henry to return with the car, and everyone, the residents and all, were so very gracious. They kept offering us coffee and food, and there was such a peaceful spirit in the place. Andrew took us to the chapel and we prayed from my prayer book, and later, when Father John Henry returned we sang some prayers and he anointed us with oil. We even got a mini homily. I was so moved.
They gave us a full tank of gas, and paid for the transfer of the car. Andrew followed us back until we got to Toledo, and then he gave us his cell number in case we had any problems. He would take care of our towing if we did. Subdeacon Robert helped us with the insurance. It was so much grace. Jesus at work through his people.
How does God's kingdom come? When we help each other.
It's a really nice car, too. And it has heat. Poor Andrew! :-( I'm sure my brother will be blessed for his loving sacrifice.
God is good. Isn't He? Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!