The air pump is no stranger to me. The driver side rear tire of my car has had a slow leak for a long time. Years, actually. I've gotten quite proficient at finding the right angle to force air into the tire, rather than letting it out. A new injection of air would keep the tire inflated for a couple of months or so, depending on the amount and kind of driving I did.
Late last week I noticed the tire was soft, so I stopped at a service station on my way home to re-inflate it. Mom and I did a fair amount of driving this weekend, including bits that could be considered off-road, because, frankly, there was no road to speak of - it had been scraped down for resurfacing. It (the car and how it handled) began to feel a little funny to me as we neared home - it was louder than usual as well. Sunday evening as we drove out for dinner, I noticed the car felt almost reluctant to move forward, and certainly was louder - floppier sounding - than usual. It wasn't until we left the restaurant, however, that I saw why: that slow leak had turned into a full-on deluge of escaping air. The tire was flat.
One quick inflation later and we were able to get home, but I knew the morning could bring with it the unwelcome indication that the tire would need to be replaced. A quick Google search tracked down a repair shop conveniently placed in easy distance of both home and work - just in case it would be needed.
Needed it was. The morning sun revealed a sadly deflated rear tire. On my way to the shop, I prayed for St. Joseph's help. Money is tight, pay day doesn't come till the end of the week but the rent is due. Please make this possible, in some way, for $150. I should be able to manage $150.
The car was left in the capable hands of a very nice man two blocks from work, who later telephoned the library to tell me he could give me two good used tires for $100 plus tax - repair wasn't possible as I had picked up two nails, one of which had torn through the side wall. I don't know what that means, but doesn't it sound painful? And thank you St. Joseph. for bringing it in under budget! So I approved the work, telling the nice man to go ahead with the replacement work.
Under the hot noon sun, I walked over during my lunch break to pick up the car. The nice man took on that tone that doctors and mechanics use when they mean to prepare you for some bad news. "You may have noticed," he began, and went on to point out a shiny bit on the one wheel that hadn't been there before. The nut or the lug or something was seized as it had been poorly installed the last time, so they'd had to basically tear it apart and put a new one on, involving the taking off and putting back on of the brakes.
The total of parts, labour, and tax? $146 and change. I had enough left to buy a large steeped tea and just slip in under the $150 I'd asked for this morning.
The moral of this story is: God hears and answers our prayers. And St. Joseph is a powerful intercessor! When you pray for something, be very sure about what you're asking for, because you will be taken at your word.