Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ruthie On The Road, Update--Part Two

A man in a pickup truck finally stopped and gave me a ride to the little town of Burgaw, North Carolina.

Burgaw (don't ask, I don't know where they got that name from, either) is a small town that includes a police department (two cops), a big water tower and two women's shelters.

I walked up to one of the shelter/houses and noticed the pretty flowers that adorned the wide porch. It looked friendly. I soon discovered that it isn't.

I hit the doorbell. No one answered. I knocked on the door. Nobody responded. Then I saw the squawk box on the wall and pushed the little, white button.

A voice finally answered and told me to go back to Wilmington.

I never did see a human face. To this day, (even though I was later told that the place is partly used as a domestic violence shelter) I wonder what the occupants are really hiding in there.

With a two word epithet under my breath, I walked across the street to the jail and asked for assistance.

Burgaw's two cops took me to a grocery store where I got a cold drink and some munchies. Then I walked back over to the highway and stuck out my thumb. The sun dropped to a lower level in the sky as I wondered where I would spend the night.

A young guy with red hair and a zippy car stopped and drove me to another small town. He said that he is a preacher and handed me his card along with a tract.

I told him that I wasn't looking for salvation...just a safe place to spend the night.

He said that he had to meet someone and left me by the side of the road. I watched him, dressed in his white shirt and silver tie, turn his fancy car around and leave me there.

I've never leveled a curse of righteous indignation at a sanctimonious, so-called "Man Of God" before. But as I watched those sleek, taillights disappear back into the shadows down the road...I did.

And I'm not sorry. But today...I sincerely hope that he is.

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