Once the seating was sorted out, the journey was comfortable and uneventful and we arrived at Heathrow airport, prepared for the next challenge.
We had to find our car-hire firm, negotiate the maze that is Heathrow and find the motorway to our destination.
I have to admit we did walk rather a long, and as it turned out, unnecessary, distance to find the bus we needed to take us to the place where we would fetch the car. But at last, we found a bus stop that would drop us at the right place, and the bus came along fairly soon after.
The bus driver was friendly and was in no hurry as we heaved our luggage on board. I had expected a two or three minute drive to our destination before we negotiated the convoluted road system that surrounds the airport.
But God does not work like that.
The place where we would fetch the car was beyond the confines of the airport on the side of the airport we needed to be. So the bus driver negotiated the maze. As he does every day. Skilfully, he took us round roundabouts, across complicated junctions and through heavy traffic to a quiet little space where he dropped us.
And there was the office we were seeking.
And inside, waiting for us, was the man God had planned for us to meet.
A young Londoner, he was friendly and willing to help. He arranged for insurance for us, giving us a good deal. He laughed with us and gave us a car that was perfect for our needs.
He smiled as we asked him for directions to the motorway we needed.
“I can let you have a SatNav.” he said.
“How much?” we asked, very conscious of our poor exchange rate.
“Ten pounds a day.”
We looked at one another. That was way beyond our reach. But we only had a map dated 1990 and I was pretty sure the complex in which we found ourselves would not have existed back in 1990. In fact, the road we were on probably hadn’t either. But it was too much. We just couldn’t afford it, with all the other expenses we would be incurring.
We shook our heads, reluctantly.
“No, please just tell us how to find the motorway.”
He looked at us.
“I can give you a special rate,” he said.
No. Still too much.
“Okay. How about if I just throw it in as a bonus?”
Later, we laughed, certain he was not sure if he would ever get his car back if he let us loose without some form of assistance. He may well have been right.
That little SatNav (we called her Flo) took us on some interesting routes. But she always got us to our desired destination. And we would have been very lost without her. I put my 1990’s map in the bin, in the end. It was way beyond its sell-by date!
How many people, I wonder, have such help? Did our friendly Londoner know he was an angel in disguise to us on that morning? Did he understand his words were gifts to us from God?
In answer to our prayers, God sent us to this man who supplied us with everything we needed to find our way.
We high-fived as we made our way into the restaurant for a much-needed coffee.
‘That’s God …’ we agreed.
That’s my God …