“Chonyionyiooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa ta ta ta”, that’s how my car sounded this morning after I tried to start it up. Weird huh. Almost funny if you try to make that sound with your mouth. I had just jump-started the car that morning. My plan was : go to the gas station, get car fueled, go home and finally leave the engine running so that the battery gets enough charge. Full proof plan.
You see, when I reached the gas station that early morning, I did get some fuel. But I left my headlights on on a car that has a problematic battery. There I was, happy that the car is fueled, the keys are in the keyhole. I twist to the right and what sound do I hear. Yes, “Chonyionyiooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa ta ta ta”. 6:30 am. Who will have the time to help me at this time? Everyone is in a rush. I mention my predicament to the station attendant who just served me.
Attendant : Ni battery imeenda chini.. Okay
Me : Might you guys have an extra battery I can use to jump start?
Attendant : Hapana
He walks away, and soon returns to server another customer in an old Mercedes. After he has attended to the Mercedes customer, I ask the guy in the old Mercedes for help. He makes a face, the face one makes when he has been asked to do something that is clearly not convenient.
Mercedes Fellow : Nimeshikana na time
Me : It’s fine.
But in my head am saying, “This will only take a few minutes.” He drives off.
The attendant comes my way and tells me we have to move the car away from the fuel pump. Together with the help of another attendant, they pushed the car to a parking spot, as I sat behind the steering wheel and directed the car as it moved. I sat on the car for a like 2 minutes, just asking myself, “What do I do”. I looked behind and then I saw my sister’s former classmate. Clearly, this is divine providence. I walk up to him and greet him with enthusiasm. The kind of enthusiasm that one conjures up when you need a favour from someone you haven’t talked to in a long while, or you always had a chance to talk to them but you never really did. Honestly, I didn’t even know his name. But the enthusiasm I displayed, it could have won me an oscar.
Again, I explain my elaborate restore-my-battery plan. He makes that face, the face I talked about earlier.
Former Classmate : There are some guys I am taking somewhere and we are in quite a rush. I am sorry I can’t help
Me : It’s fine. Thanks
I walked away. In my head, I am saying, “God, you know the way I help people. It will only take a few minutes to get this car up and running. Help me. Please!”.
Seated in the car, again, I watch and wait examining who I will ask. My goal? Look for someone who doesn’t look too busy. Then out of the blue, someone parks next to me. From the looks of it, he wants to buy something at the gas stations shop. No sooner had he jumped out of the car had I asked him for help. This man was elderly.
Elderly Man : Do you have jumpers?
Me : Yeah, I have make-shift ones
Elderly Man : Sawa, we will use mine, but I am not certain they can help, they may not be long enough.
He moves his car closer to mine, but still, his jumpers could not serve us since they weren’t long enough. We then resorted to using my ‘jumpers’ which are wires used to wire up a house. A few minutes later, we are done.
As I am driving home, I couldn’t help but wonder how similar this occurrence was to the Good Samaritan story. I needed help. I thought I deserved it (which is wrong) because I helped others. But, God reached out to me through that old man.