The smell was pungent though faint and the noise was obnoxious though potentially innocuous. We pulled up to the fuel dispenser for a top off and I popped the hood to take a look. (I’m not a mechanic but I feel better about myself when I look under that hood as though I know what I’m doing). The smell was definitely coming from our van but a few misplaced drops of engine coolant were all Ryan Bell and I could see, so off we went—continuing toward our destination where we’d set up and perform a concert for the youth of a church more than four hours from home.
The smell became stronger—a rancid chemical burning.
“That’s not a good smell,” I said as I observed the obvious.
A very short time later it happened. “Hey, it’s smoking!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah, we better pull over,” said Mike in a bit of an intentionally understated way.
Stopped on the side of the road a few of us got out to assess the situation. Smoke and steam were sizzling out from under the hood. I opened the hood to a wave of that burning odor and steam. Engine coolant was splattered over parts of the engine: the result of a blown water pump.
Well, that shot the gig to pieces…
Actually, it didn’t. I mean, praise God for keeping us safe. Praise God for a breakdown close to a town and not on a stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere. Praise God for smartphones that help find garages, rental places and show us on a map where we are. Praise God for a AAA account I wasn’t even sure I still had. Praise God for a tow company that was connected to a garage that could look at the van on the day of. Praise God for a little Jeep Cherokee that actually pulled our trailer (about three times it’s weight) to the garage to get it off the highway. Praise God for an understanding youth pastor. Praise God for people who had an available Suburban for the youth pastor to borrow and pick up the trailer and the band. Praise God for a really quick and efficient set up time. Praise God for a fun show. Praise God for a sister who is at a college close enough to come to the show. Praise God for a parent willing to sacrifice time and effort to drive and pick up the band and make sure they got back to their jobs the next day. Praise God that the he had a vehicle big enough to tow the trailer. Praise God for a clear schedule that allowed me to stay overnight and be available to pick up the van that was sitting finished at the garage. Praise Jesus for His kindness and provision.
Yeah, it was a good day.