A 'Good Samaritan' at Mel's Bar
Leslie Collins, The Cherokee Messenger & Republican
It was a simple request. His wife wanted a hot shower.
He called churches in Cherokee, not asking for money, but simply a place to shower.
Some churches said they didn't have time. The head of the Cherokee Ministerial Alliance said, "No." Steve and Loie Corson felt unwelcomed, discouraged. The Utah couple was walking across the U.S., each carrying a six-foot cross, on a mission to show others God's love, to remind Christians not to become lukewarm.
They didn't scream that "God hates gays" or "God hates America," like some fanatics, but quietly and humbly carried a cross. Their message was not one of damnation and fire and brimstone, but one of hope and God's unfailing love.
Maybe it was their cross that made others feel uncomfortable. I felt slightly uncomfortable of such an open display. But, I've seen the news clips of "Christian" fanatics missing the message of God and screaming that "God hates fags" or protesting at soldiers' funerals. They've given Christians a bad reputation.
So, it makes you slightly leery of something different, of someone carrying a life-size cross down Grand Avenue.
I kept asking people if they knew the story behind the man carrying the cross. All saw the man; all said, 'No.'
Behind the glint of the sun, there was a darkness, a rumbling of rumors, a sea of judging eyes.
Scarcely a soul greeted the man.
But, I needed to know. I needed to know this man's story. I crossed Grand Avenue and politely stood while he knelt by his cross, praying aloud.
He continued to pray and I finally said, "I'm sorry to interrupt..."
I introduced myself and told him I wanted to know his story. I plopped down beside him and sat for an hour, listening to his story of faith and mission for Jesus.
He noted that Cherokee lacked a sign reading, "Welcome to Cherokee," but had one that said "CHEROKEE."
The first time he and his wife felt welcomed in town was at Mel's Bar, where they sat to watch a football game. Those inside were kind and asked the couple if they needed anything. It wasn't the church that offered a hot shower, but a "roughneck" at the RV park.
It's reminiscent of the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. A man traveling to Jericho was badly beaten by thieves and left for dead on the side of the road.
"A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
"So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
"But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him."
Jesus asked which of the three acted as a neighbor to the man and a man of the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Then, Jesus said, "Go and do likewise."
It's time we take a look at ourselves and ask, "Are we loving our neighbor as ourselves? Are we going out and doing likewise?
Posted on Mon, December 20, 2010