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Ode to a Blue Pickup Truck

September 27, 2013

I first saw the truck eight years ago

On a used car lot on the other side of town

Deep shiny blue, four-wheel drive, four-door cab,

V-6, AC, CD, and radio

Workbench with the tailgate down.

“That little blue truck is just what I need.”

I grew up on a lumberyard, after all.

Like commentaries, cell phones, and laptops

A truck is a tool of the pastoral trade

No telling what I might have to haul.

Low mileage, low interest, I drove the truck home.

What luck! What a blessing! And what a great deal!

We dedicated the truck reading Psalm 91,

Invoking God for a pickup Guardian,

To guide through the storm, to protect through the night, for wisdom to know when to yield.

The truck made its trips to church and hospitals

To nursing homes and funeral homes, faithfully making its rounds,

Through hot summer sun, and ice and snow,

To mountain streams and sea island beaches,

Back roads and interstate, traveling through cities and towns.

Moving children and their earthly possessions,

Hauling gravel, mulch, Christmas trees, plants of every kind.

Absolutely reliable, always true blue, the truck hauled load after load

Of trash and garbage, furniture and fine art,

And so many books to be signed.

Then last Monday, on the way to the church, at the corner of Forest and Pine

A big red truck ran a bright red light, smashing my truck and glass flew like rain.

I couldn’t breathe, I whispered prayer, I caught my breath, and called 911.

Help arrived in various trucks – EMS, fire, police.

Sirens and shouting, so much noise and in the distance a train.

Friends were there and gawkers, too, and questions too many to answer.

The driver’s side door on the little blue truck was crumpled and bent,

A fireman ripped it from the hinges.

A cervical collar, and hard backboard, I was pulled from the wreck,

Poking and prodding, vital signs and questions, to the ER I was sent.

As they loaded me into the big white truck, I heard a fireman say.

“He’s lucky he was in that little Toyota or he would probably be dead.”

As we bumped along to the emergency room, I thought about what he had said.

The little blue truck had done its job, faithful to the end.

Was it luck or was it a blessing? kept running through my head.

The adjuster called to give me the news, “Your truck is a total loss.”

Maybe so, I thought, in terms of dollars, but surely there is more.

I know we are not supposed to value the things in this life.

But a little blue truck was used by a Guardian to save my life.

I will be grateful forevermore.

Kirk H. Neely
© September 2013

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