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Oil Man or Earth Angel?

Thank goodness our water tap ran cold. It was the answer to our prayer.

An artist's rendering of a winged oil man

With only three weeks before we had to move, Mike and I still had nowhere to go.

The house we were renting was up for sale, we couldn’t afford to buy our own and the right rental was just nowhere to be found. I filled the kitchen sink with dishes, wishing I could clean up life’s other messes as easily.

What if we can’t find a place? I thought. We’ll be out on the street in no time.

I turned the hot water tap, but it ran ice cold. “Not this too,” I said. Mike looked up from his newspaper, where he was pouring over the real-estate section. “I’d better call for an oil delivery,” he said wearily.

At this point, I wasn’t even sure we could afford to. “We won’t get to use it up before we have to leave,” I said. “Unless they’d be willing to deliver just a little?”

Mike shook his head. “Doesn’t work that way, Peggy.”

I sat next to him at the kitchen table and rested my clasped hands over a jumble of newspapers. Our whole lives had begun to revolve around those real-estate ads. Now my prayer life would center around them too. I closed my eyes.

“We don’t need much,” I said. “Just a two-bedroom house with a comfortable living room. But we’re in kind of a hurry to get something.”

The next morning found Mike and me back at the kitchen table with our newspapers. I glanced out the window as an oil truck rolled up to the curb. A tall man in a jumpsuit and thick boots filled our tank. We went back to our search until the oil man knocked. He handed over the bright pink delivery receipt.

“You people sure read a lot of newspapers,” he said.

“We’re praying for a new rental,” I explained. “The newspapers don’t seem to hold an answer to that particular prayer.” The oil delivery man’s eyebrows went up.

“Hey, I know a place,” he said.

I swept my arm over the newspaper-laden table. “If it’s available, we’ve considered it. We’ve seen everything in our price range.”

“This one’s not listed yet,” he said. “Two-bedroom house, nice living room. I’ll put you folks in touch with the owner.”

A couple weeks later, we were unpacking boxes in our new home, which was right in the middle of our price range. Thank goodness our tap water ran cold that day. The oil man delivered just what we needed: an answer to our prayer.

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