3940606_sIt’s been a long time since I sold a car. I no longer remember what I have to do to transfer ownership. I had to ask. I sold a car last Monday, WGR 820, my Nissan AD Resort station wagon. I have had it since 1998 though I hadn’t been using it much since my move to Singapore about 4 years ago. But WGR 820 was my car in one of the most turbulent periods of my life.

In 1998, I was in the midst of a marital breakdown. I had lost my first wife to cancer. Separated from my second wife, I was trying to raise two sons on my own. I had lost most of my public ministry and was undergoing psychiatric care for clinical depression. I won’t recount the blow-by-blow of how it happened but I found myself without a car and I was afraid. I am sure it was because of my depression but I found myself overwhelmed with anxiety. How was I going to take my boys to all the places they had to go — school, tuition, doctors, sports etc.? How was I going to get around? (Public transport in the Klang valley is bad.)

A brother in Christ worked in a branch of Tan Chong that sold commercial vehicles. By contract, they had to keep some passenger vehicles in their show room. He told me he had a new Nissan AD Resort I could buy. It was a 1996 model and he had had it for almost two years. (Apparently folks don’t go to a commercial vehicle dealership to look for passenger vehicles.) And although it was 1998 he could sell it to me at the 1996 price. I had not set out to buy a station wagon. I recall being very worried that I would not be able to drive one. I was afraid a lot in that period of my life. My friend assured me that I should have no problem driving it.

Then there was the matter of money. Although I was getting a great price for the car, I didn’t have enough savings for the full amount. Slowly the Lord provided and as is often the case, the Lord used His saints to be channels of His blessings. He knew I needed some concrete reassurance that He was taking care of the boys and me though so many things in my life had fallen apart. I discovered that the station wagon wasn’t popular with some folks because it resembled a hearse. I remember joking with a friend that even if the AD Resort resembled a vehicle for ferrying the dead, in Christ, the dead will rise again.

The Lord took more than three days to restore my life. Things would get worse before they got better. But from 1998 till now, the Lord has healed and restored me. So much happened in those twelve years, enough to fill many lifetimes and WGR 820 was my trusty steed through it all. I decided to name it Shadowfax. I have always liked Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shadowfax was the name of Gandalf’s horse. (Gandalf is one of the key characters in the story.) The boys didn’t quite take to the name. Perhaps it was too cool a name for something as uncool as a station wagon. Still, I am sure they appreciated it when I ferried their bicycles to the bicycle shop for repairs. Couldn’t have done that with a normal saloon.

When I look at WGR 820, I am reminded of that intense time in my life — there was so much pain. I really do not know how I survived. Yet I do know. I survived because of the grace of God and the care of my friends. WGR 820 embodied both. You can understand if I am feeling a little emotional letting Shadowfax go. However, I am delighted that it is going to a good friend, a pastor who plans to use it for his ministry. This brother ministers a lot to the poor. He said a station wagon will really help as he brings supplies to those in need. I think the Lord would approve.