It’s been raining in Baltimore for the past week or so. On Thursday, I came home from work and gathered up all the bags and cups from my car and stepped out into my driveway. In my hand, I held the wireless transmitter for my car – the little black box that turns the alarm system on and off.
As a result of the rain, the transmitter got a little wet.
I pressed the button to lock the car and set the alarm and… nothing happened. So I locked the car with the key and stepped into my evening, quickly forgetting all about it.
The next morning, I automatically pressed the unlock button, as I have been doing every time I get near the car since I bought it five years ago.
Nothing happened… “Oh yeah,” I reminded myself. It wasn’t working last night.
Later that day, I called the car dealer to find out just how much a new transmitter costs. At least $100, I was told. “If it got wet, you might have shorted it out. But maybe it’s just the battery,” the service manager suggested.
I went to the store and bought a new battery, for a WHOLE lot less than a hundred bucks. I popped open the transmitter and changed the battery.
“Okay,” I say to Gd. “I get it. This is an atonement for something else I did. You’ve given me the hassle and the cost of replacing the transmitter in order to punish me with the inconvenience and expense, but it’s a chesed because I really deserve a greater punishment for whatever it is I did.”
I finished my errands, relying on the key to open and lock the car doors. When I got home, I put the broken transmitter in a drawer and wrapped a piece of masking tape around it with the date and a note to indicate it was broken.
Then I went to take a shower for Shabbat.
Coming out of the bathroom, my younger daughter says to me, “I think that noise is your car alarm.” Indeed it was. But how could that be? The transmitter was lying in a drawer, probably shorted out, but, in any case, broken.
I took the transmitter out of the drawer and, by rote, clicked the unlock button. The alarm quieted down.
I realize that many people will assume that the transmitter dried out sufficiently to begin working again, or some other “logical” explanation.
I assume that Gd restored my transmitter because I accepted the din. I accepted that the malfunction was a potch from Above. Once I strengthened my belief, yet again, that Gd is involved in my life, even to that level, I demonstrated that I had learned my lesson. In response, Gd fixed my transmitter for me.