When mass chaos strikes, it’s timing is never convenient. It’s not like the plague calls you on your cell saying, “Hey, there, Jan! It’s me, Coronavirus! I thought about striking mid-March. Does that work for you?” Boy, we wish! Instead, we’ve heard stories of people who were on vacation when the pandemic struck and left stranded; people that had decided to change careers and then BOOM! Here comes COVID to wreck the day! And stories of people who thought we were coming out of all this, launched a business, and then everything in their city was forced to shut back down again due to increased positive cases. Through it all, all we could do was just pray. That’s exactly where Eric found himself when his CDL expired smack dab in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was November 2020, and Eric realized that his license to drive his truck was coming up for renewal at the end of the month. Unlike a regular license requiring only a quick trip to the Tag Agency, Eric’s CDL required a medical card from his doctor, due to his sometimes-high-blood-pressure, which had to be renewed annually. He also had to bring that paperwork into the Department of Motor Vehicles, and trying to get in there was like trying to thread a camel through the eye of a needle. He set up appointments for both locations, but neither could get him in before his renewal date. He was stuck.
When his license finally expired, he wasn’t able to work anymore, and his funds quickly depleted. Without money, he wasn’t able to get his license, or his medical card renewed, so he looked around for quick employment to put a little cash in his pocket. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful in his attempts, but then the stimulus checks started coming in. He was now able to pay for the medical card renewal, however, now he was up to another challenge. His blood pressure was too high for his doctor to pass him. It took some time, but he diligently worked at getting his blood pressure under control until finally, he received a passing score! Now with his medical card good for another year, it was time to tackle the driver’s license. With winter setting in and frigid temperatures making outdoor activities brutal, standing in line at the DMV in the early morning hours was like torture. After some unsuccessful attempts, Eric ended up getting sick from the weather, and he decided to put it off until he felt better. As things tend to do though, it seemed like it was one thing after another, and several weeks went by before he was able to get into the DMV.
We wish we could say that here’s where the story has a shiny rainbow at the end, but sadly, it didn’t work out that way for Eric. When he finally had his temporary card in hand, one that would work until his real card came in the mail, he used his stimulus to buy a new pair of glasses which he desperately needed to get back on the road, and the rest went as far as it could to pay his bills. It just wasn’t far enough though. His stimulus ran out, and eventually, so did his good graces with his landlord, and he was evicted. He asked one small favor: “can you hold my driver’s license when it comes in the mail?” His landlord refused. When the license arrived, it was sent back with no forwarding address. And he was almost right back where he started.
Eric came to Gospel Rescue Mission, shocked at his predicament. His attitude, though, is one of humbleness and obedience. “When I checked in, I asked Him [God], what lesson do I have to learn here?” Used to, he would brush past those needing help, or not take the time to really hear them. Now, he wants to share his wisdom as he feels led to. Currently, he’s working with the DMV on the next steps that he needs to renew his license so he can get back to work. Armed with a great job offer once his affairs are in order, he is anxious to get back on the road. “GRM is heaven-sent,” he said as he organized his paperwork neatly. For now, he is taking advantage of his time of rest to get his high blood pressure under control and spend some time in fellowship with the other gentlemen here. He stands firm that his faith will carry him through this, and he hopes to be a positive light to others as he is walking through this valley.