Came the time when our car’s coolant needed topping up. Some months previously I had bought a five-liter can of antifreeze from Halfords. So far it hadn’t been used, so I studied the instruction before opening it. They weren’t at all clear, in fact confused. I took it back to Halfords (still unopened) and explained my problem. Did I have the receipt? No, I didn’t think to have it with me; all I wanted was some advice from Halfords on what their instructions actually meant. At that point the salesman asked about the make of the vehicle, then referred to a data-base of vehicles and their dietary requirements. ‘This antifreeze you bought isn’t the one for your car’, he told me, and went off to bring back a can of the correct fluid. ‘This is the one you want’, he said, ‘It’s £3 more than you paid for the fluid you bought’. Thanking him for his precaution in checking the fluid, I went off, musing over the Lord’s intervention that may have prevented a very expensive repair.
I had bought the fluid without much thought; after all, antifreeze I antifreeze, isn’t it? Actually, no. While I have always done my own servicing, I hadn’t realized that cars now have specific antifreeze. What I had chosen was unsuitable for my shiny Saab, a gift from our two pastors, and might have resulted in severe damage. But the Lord knew. I had not broken the seal so there was no problem returning it from that aspect. But the receipt (which I didn’t have with me) would have shown it had been purchased so long previously that the firm could reasonably have refused to exchange it. In the event, he didn’t insist on its production. But he had checked to ensure its compatibility with my car and exposed its incompatibility, something I had never thought to do.
Some might call it luck; I call it the care discreetly exercised by a loving Father towards one of his children.