The Night the Bimmer Left

I got married in 1988. The air we breathed was Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up. Every young man dreamt of driving the BMW 325is. Back then, it remained a fancy yearning, I had to settle for a 1969 VW Beetle and a new wife.

Two decades later, I was working on an incredible project. A dear friend gave me the exact car I drooled for. It was of course, used (perhaps, over-used is more apropos). The paint was oxidized. The wheels were gunk-grey. The engine was at least half an inch grime-coated. Rather surprisingly, there was no ding or rips inside out. It was just dirty and about to die. The restoration took on quite a toll.

Since I am a die-hard purist, I only used OEM parts from Munich. Of course it also took on my heart's unguarded devotion. It was almost back to its mint condition except for a leak on its power-steering receptacle. None of my cheap mechanics had a clue on the drip.  I had no choice but inquire from BMW. The manager was naturally awed by the old steed. When he saw the issue, I caught his grin: "What fluid are you using?" "premium Power Steering fluid, of course!" His retort was: "Bingo! If you read your manual (I had none!), you would have known that this one only uses the specified Dextron/Mercon. We sell them here for $45. That will fix it!"

The miracle was cheap.

But the seeping continued somewhere else. I began developing an unusual swag when I drove her around. It doesn't take much to detect the idolatry that was slow but surely involved in my little hobby. Just as the bimmer's soul was determined by the accurate diagnosis of its engineer, I knew mine needed an MRI.

Once in your life, you get to do something truly scandalous to save your soul. It happened when I met a Dallas cop who was so kind to the bone. I discovered that he too is a pastor, happily married to a school teacher. We became good friends. He drove a dilapidated pint-sized Mazda. Once I asked him what I can pray for, his answer was quick: "Hey Bro, just pray for another whip, my wife and I just share this lil' champ."

Through my developing inner tension, I don't know where the strong impetus came from but I found myself calling him one day saying that a car has been graciously provided. That Wednesday night I handed him the keys and title.

There was a brief hand-off. I was too scared to change my mind. I had to dismiss him rather abruptly.

He told me the following day, that he with his first lady drove around their neighborhood beaming praises to their incredible God up until the wee hours of dawn.

They thought they had the best gift.

The deeper beam was on me: I experienced the genuine exegesis of a true grant. The Bimmer never left. The True Owner just rolled it nicely to the next guy.