Thursday, February 05, 2015

They drank beer on Sunday, but they were neighborly

  In the late 1980’s my family attended a convention in Richmond, Virginia. We drove a blue Ford LTD that was long past its prime. On the return trip, a stream of white smoke clouded the highway and soon the car just stopped.

  We were a mile from an exit and 20 miles from a hotel. The five of us walked along the highway, passed by hundreds of cars as we walked in the summer heat on a Sunday morning. We looked pretty ragged that day. A man, his wife and three little boys who were dirty, sweaty and tired.

   A church van approached us and the driver asked if we wanted a ride to his worship services. We declined after explaining our situation. They van drove off to pick up worshippers waiting for rides.

   At the exit, in Ladysmith, Va., we were assisted by several men who were drinking alcohol and playing loud music. They put us in their car and carried us 20 miles to a hotel, and then returned and towed our car to their home. They happened to be mechanics.

   We had a blown head gasket, but they stayed up all night long, drinking, listening to loud music and repaired our vehicle. They only charged us for the parts and continued drinking.

   As we pulled away, the church van stopped us and the driver asked whether we had our problem solved. He said, “God bless you,” and then drove away.

   Each time we go in that direction my wife bakes a cake to take to those men, in gratitude for helping us when we were stranded. We never even thought about attending that church.

   Luke 10:29 asks a question, “Who is my neighbor?”

   On that Sunday, when we were in distress, our neighbors were three drinking men who listened to loud music on Sunday, but gave of themselves to help us.