My mom used to drive a 1970 something Chevy Nova. It was tan with wood panels and the fabric on the ceiling would hang down on your head. I hated riding to school in that car and getting dropped off while everyone else was getting out of BMWs.
Sometimes, after a good rain, my mom would take that car down a dirt road with the windows rolled down. Whenever we drove by a mud puddle, she’d let me roll my window down and stick my head out into the giant splash of nastiness. The kids whose parents drove BMWs didn’t get to do that.
Our next car was a dark blue Pontiac 6000. It had electric locks and windows and the fabric on the ceiling stayed on the ceiling. No more dirt roads with the windows rolled down. We were in the big time now, until it got stolen out of the church parking lot. Nobody ever tried to steal our Chevy Nova.
Next in the line of family cars was one we called The Boat. It must have been 50 feet long. By this time my mom was pretty sick and sometimes, on the way home from work, her body would lock up and she’d have to pull over on the side of the interstate in Atlanta. This was the last car she would ever drive.
Those cars remind me of God’s grace. They make me thankful for having a mom that was not able to afford a car that didn’t embarrass her son but still found a way to make good memories with it. They also make me thankful for a generous God. For the three of those cars combined, my mom may have paid 10 dollars and a gallon of her famous sweet tea. Not many people can look back on their childhood and remember having three cars donated to the family. It’s like we were friends with Elvis.
Now that I’m grown up, I’ve got my own family car. It’s much nicer than anything my mom ever drove. But I’m pretty sure that at some point my kids will be embarrassed to be seen in it when we drop them off somewhere and all of their friends are getting out of their new Jet Craft 200XZ flying cars.
One day my boys will look back on their childhood like I am today. They may see a few family cars and I hope that in some way each one reminds them of God’s grace and provision. And like me, I know that they’ll be able to look back at the old family car and be reminded of the faithful mother who drove it.
Happy Mother’s Day weekend to my wife Marsha, the greatest mom the world has ever known.