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Sep 01, 2020 71 0 Margaret Ann Stimatz
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My Main Man

Plastic? Covered with dust? Not this guy!

A Strange Inkling

At one time, I thought saints were plastic and covered with dust, like too many of the old statues I had seen. What could they know or care about me and my world? But over a period of time, I began to get an inner ‘sense’ that Saint Joseph wanted my attention. I had no idea why. But this impression would not go away. I would sometimes kneel before his statue at church and shoot up little conversational leads like, “Hello, Joseph, I don’t know you. Are you really wanting my attention?” I never heard answers. But still, I could not shake the notion that he was trying to connect.

I am a single woman with no knack for malfunctions—mechanical or digital—who often becomes wildly frustrated when such things occur. As an experiment, I began asking Saint Joseph’s help with these situations and I noticed he seemed to respond in a variety of creative ways. I was impressed. After a few years, I grew convinced that Saint Joseph truly was on my team. I smilingly began telling friends, “He’s my main man!” Saint Joseph went on looking after me, in matters big and small. But recently, he protected me even before I asked, when I did not know I needed protection.

My friend Kathy had left a message asking me to cover her hour of adoration the following day. Since I could not respond in time, I just showed up the next day as she had asked. Unaccountably, I parked in an area of the parking lot where I do not usually park—at the far north end rather than the south end of the enormous parking lot. In church, as I sank down on the kneeler, I glimpsed my friend Andy walking past. But he did not walk past. He leaned into my pew and whispered that my driver’s-side rear tire was going flat. Surprised, I thanked Andy, shot up a quick prayer asking Saint Joseph to take charge, and put the tire out of mind. As I was finishing my hour, Andy suddenly re-appeared. This time his voice was urgent: “I wouldn’t drive on that tire at all. I have a device that can inflate your tire. I’ll run get it. Be back in ten minutes.”

Outside as I awaited Andy’s return, a friend came by. She and I mulled over my tire and agreed it did not look all that flat. I was certain no harm would result if I drove the two miles to my tire shop. But I had no way to contact Andy and I could not take off and leave him while he was going out of his way to help me. Plus, I had this little niggling thought, ‘Andy’s a ‘car guy’ by trade. He just might have a better “car eye” than I do.’ Sure enough, when Andy attached his gadget to my tire, the pressure registered at 6 pounds rather than the 30-35 pounds it was supposed to be. My tire could have been trashed had I driven on it. Yikes! While Andy was inflating the tire, I mentioned I was there that morning at Kathy’s request. To my surprise, so was he! It seems when Kathy was unable to reach me, she also asked Andy to cover her hour. Who knew that the two of us would both show up?

A Heavenly Scheme?

At the shop a nail was removed and my tire repaired at no charge. As I drove home, thanking God for His care, Saint Joseph popped into my mind. And questions started popping into my head: Was Saint Joseph part of a heavenly scheme to protect me that day…or to protect me from a possible blow-out later that week when I would be traveling on the highway?

Andy and I both showed up at adoration and I parked on the north side that day, when usually I park on the south. And in that vast parking lot Andy, with his keen mechanic’s eye, just happened to pull up right next to my car where he could readily spot my near-flat tire.

Were all these coincidences? I won’t know for sure this side of Heaven. But I do know for sure that the saints are not far away and sometimes they really do get involved in our nitty-gritty matters, both big and small. And sometimes—even when we have not asked—their invisible heavenly fingerprints appear in the darndest places. I know Saint Joseph is not plastic, not by a longshot. This powerful guy with heavenly clout demonstrates over and over that he really does have my back. Not only does he help me navigate treacherous roads anytime I ask, but sometimes he extends his proactive care even when I haven’t a clue that I need it.

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong and so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in You all my interests and desires. Assist me by Your powerful intercession that I may always seek God’s Holy Will. Be my protector and my guide in the way of salvation. Amen.

Margaret Ann Stimatz

© was brought back to her Catholic faith in the flood of heavenly graces released at the death of Pope John Paul II. She has published articles in “Family Digest,” “The Word Among Us” and two Guidepost collections. Most recently, she co-authored “Mercy for Little Souls,” a booklet of inspirational reflections on the suffering and self gift of a young priest, Father Stuart Long. Stimatz is a licensed therapist working with children who are emotionally distressed, as well as their families.

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