what a ’94 Ford taught me about community

what a '94 Ford taught me about  community

It’s green. A dark forest green with these bright swirly things on the doors. A 1994 F350 with 4-wheel drive, a 7.3 and a plow. It’s a beast. It rumbles and grinds and backfires occasionally.

We bought it for sixteen hundred, partly for the plow attached to the front and partly because it has the best engine Ford ever produced. It was a project that would hopefully someday give us a work vehicle that didn’t consume fuel like a kid with candy.

We had no idea that the day we brought it home, it would be the only running truck on the farm.

Yet, that next Sunday I was hiking up my skirt to take the three foot jump into the cab and we were opening windows to clear out the smell from an exhaust leak. As we drove down the road, my husband mentioned, in passing, “This is a bit hard on my pride.” Of course, the mechanic hates to drive a rust bucket, especially with a shiny 2008 sitting in the driveway at home.

“It’s good for me, I suppose,” he finished, smiling with a slight twinkle in his eye.

It was later, while I was watching him on his hands and knees, wielding wrenches in his Sunday clothes, attempting to convince the old 7.3 to turn over one more time, that I noticed some deep, deep truths.

We’re an independent society. We love to talk about the New Testament church with their ‘having all things in common” and sharing and giving… but we don’t actually want to live that way. We want to take care of our own stuff. It’s respectable to drive a vehicle that starts on command.

Community comes in handy when there is a major health issue or an accident or a fire… but, by all means, lets keep our everyday rough stuff as separate as possible. 

I looked up from my seat and saw Lyndon Moser standing on the right side of the truck, offering help and advice. Gene O’handly pulled up on the left with his GMC, threw it in park and went climbing in his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, to pull a set of jumper cables from the toolbox in the back.

I watched as Gene said something to my husband with a smile splitting his face. It was the grin that caused things to click together.

When my husband climbed back in the truck, hunted around for a grease rag and finally settled on using my covering to clean his hands, I said it quietly. “I think it meant a lot to those men that they were able to help us out.”

He looked over at me, brown eyes serious, “I’m used to being the one that helps others. The one with the new truck and all the tools on the back. It’s good for me to be on the receiving end once in a while.”

“I think we miss a lot of community when we’re too independent,” I add, as I watch the trees on the Ridge Road fly by. “There is nothing wrong with not being able to drive a new vehicle. Nothing wrong with needing help. In fact, in some ways it…” I pause, searching for words.

“It’s what we’re meant for. To be inter-dependent,” he finishes for me.

I think I’m starting to really like this truck.

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you,
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on the journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.

{Richard Gillard, “The Servant Song”}

true community

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13 thoughts on “what a ’94 Ford taught me about community

  1. I love this. So true in every way. The quote you give at the bottom is going to stick with me as we just had a discussion about true community at my home group last night. You nailed it.

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    • It’s one of those simple things that I tend to forget over and over… That’s neat that you were just discussing it. 🙂

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  2. Natasha, this is EXACTLY what my husband and I have been discussing lately!

    Lord, help us to be humble enough to seek help from others, and sensitive enough to see when help is needed.

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  3. It’s a good point. I find that my family is often on the receiving end… which takes humility to accept graciously. I want to always be the giving one…. but there are opportunities to give today, and Lord willing there will be bigger opportunities down the road if the tables ever turn.

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    • And they do. Trust me. 🙂 I’ve been on both sides in the past and probably will in the future. Both take grace and humility.

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  4. I love this. It’s important to put aside our pride and be willing to let others help us. And in turn, we can help them in their time of need. I think God created us to be inter-dependent like that.

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