Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Ruthie On The Road, Update-Summer 2013 Stories
At one point, I ended up in Garden City, Kansas.
Garden City can be described in one word: Charming.
It's a small-town city with tall broad leaf trees, stately old homes, flower gardens,
church chimes that ring-out entire hymns into the air and friendly people who smile
and really mean it when they say, "hello."
That town also has a shelter.
One weekend, I divided my time between the library and that shelter. I planned to
stay at that shelter for awhile.
But on Monday, the pathetic excuse for a shelter director decided that her ego is
more important than a roof over my head. She didn't like the fact that other sources
had made an exception and allowed me into the shelter over the weekend.
And she got mad about it.
So I had to leave...and a friendly woman at the library helped me get on a local shuttle
bus. That bus took me to Walmart where I got off and then walked up the road to
By that time, a raging dust storm was in full swing. I stood there, on the shoulder
of that highway and struggled to remain standing as the wind threw dirt and
40-70 mph gusts of wind at me.
Finally, I was forced to sit down on my backpack and dodge the balls
of tumbleweed that bounced across the road like prairie missiles.
Then a cop pulled over, loaded me up in his rig and drove me to a small "whistle stop"
that is literally out in the middle of nowhere.
I sat down at the picnic table that is situated right next to a small church building as
the cop drove away.
I looked at the sign by that building and then found the number for the pastor via Google
on my cell phone. I called him up and left a voicemail message. Then I fell asleep.
I was exhausted and as the sun set, I huddled into my jacket and snored. All the wind,
the dust and the events of that day had just worn me out.
It was nighttime when my phone rang. The pastor called me back and we talked for a
few minutes. Then he told me to walk over to the door of the church building and turn the
So I did.
When I opened the door, I was stunned.
The church is beautiful inside. And the pastor told me to make myself comfort-
able in that building for the night.
And so there I remained...safe and blessed until the darkness of the night curved back into
That pastor trusted me to do the right thing...in that building that includes a full kitchen,
complete with a microwave and a coffee maker. The sanctuary boasts an organ, a piano
and everything that you would normally find in a space like that.
In other words, that pastor trusted me to do the right thing and act responsibly in his
You better believe, I did!
I found some donuts and two jugs of Sunny Delight orange drink in the kitchen refrigerator. The
preacher told me to eat and drink whatever I could find. So I enjoyed that little snack.
Then I stretched out on a back pew in the sanctuary, put my head on my pack,
covered myself with my thin blue blanket and fell asleep, again. A large, illuminated
painting of Jesus kept watch over me for the rest of the night.
In the morning, I cleaned up in the bathroom and then padded into the kitchen to make
a pot of coffee. I searched through some more of the cupboards and finally found a
jar of crunchy peanut butter. I slathered some of it on some more of the donuts and then
washed them down with coffee and a couple more glasses of Sunny D.
After I did the dishes, washed out the coffee pot and straightened up the bathroom, I
left a note for that incredibly kind pastor.
I will always remember that man. May God bless him forever.
Is there a lesson to be learned here?
Yes, there is.