My husband opened the hood of the car and listened. He liked what he saw but the condition of the body caused him to hesitate even though we were desperate and the owner was only asking $300.00 for the vehicle. That was a great deal of money for us in the late 1980's.
As he walked around to open the trunk, the owner quickly said, "I will sell it to you for $200.00." My husband was silent as he stared into the trunk. I moved to his side to see what it was staring at and discovered that the rear wheel wells were rusted out and we could see the pavement. Well, we could still carry a spare and jack in the back part of the trunk. We didn't actually need a trunk for anything more than that and we were planning to replace my broken down car that day as well. We would just make sure that one had a usable trunk. Beggars could not be choosers.
Before my husband straightened up to take the owner up on her offer, she blurted out, "Look, the scrap yard will give me $100.00 for it if I drive it over there so I will sell it to you for $100.00. Obviously she was desperate to get rid of it. We bought the car.
It was an ugly little car that was about to get even uglier. The next day it was in an accident. We were the second car sitting at a stoplight when it turned green. As the first car started to go, it stalled out so my husband stopped. Unfortunately, the driver of the car coming up behind us was not paying attention and she slammed into us so hard we were pushed into the car in front of us.
God works in mysterious ways, I suppose. The driver of the first car and the third car were found to be at fault but not my husband. The back end of our car was totalled but we could still drive it provided we uh... made some modifications that involved pedestal lights and bungee cords. As a bonus, the check from the insurance company paid for the purchase of our Valiant as well as a cheap replacement car for me so we broke even.
I never did drive that ugly little car with the funny lights, the rusted out trunk and the bungee cords. It was so hard to shift that my husband didn't think I would be able to manage it. I didn't complain and happily zipped about in my "new" vehicle. It really was an ugly, funny-looking vehicle but it served us very well for several years. In fact, it never had anything done to it except routine maintenance. It was the ugly, dependable little car that kept on going and going and going. Why? Because despite what the body looked like, mechanically it was sound. Ironically the car was a Plymouth Valiant. I think it was appropriately named.
I don't know about you but I can relate to that little car. Perhaps, like that little car, you have been beaten and bruised by life. At first glance, you don't look so pretty. You might have some pretty nasty-looking scars and maybe you are even hobbling along. However, the inside is a different story.
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
2 Corinthians 4: 8-10 (KJV)
Nice one! It reminds me vaguely of the bit at the start of the song Classified
Seriously, though, I'm not feeling especially valiant these days. But after reading this have decided to settle for being Valiant instead, and trying to remember those verses from 2 Cor 4 as well as perhaps this one from the previous book: "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."