I pray the day is finding you well.
Chuck and I are in Baker City, Oregon, almost home.
We left Burley, Idaho yesterday. It was a beautiful run through some of the hottest weather we had experienced. Since we had decided to do the run two-up, we had to really consolidate our things. This meant that I had to wear my leather jacket. There was no place to store it. The teeshirts that I packed for the trip were all long sleeve. Keeping the sun off my arms when riding all day keeps me from feeling poorly at the end of the day. So I have been riding in the backseat wearing a long-sleeve teeshirt and a leather jacket.
We rolled into Baker City, an old mining town (gold was king a hundred years ago), and checked into the hotel. Our rooms were not ready yet. We had forgotten that we gained an hour from Idaho to Oregon and arrived an hour earlier than we anticipated.
I was rung out. I was vastly overheated. I needed water.
The only place open was the lounge.
Chuck and I sauntered into the bar. Country music filled the air. A song about a girl dancing on top of a green tractor hit my ears. I am glad we will be home soon. I miss my wife.
Chuck and I bellied up to the bar (I am picking up on the country lingo in Baker City).
Kate, the barkeep, said, "howdy boys, what will it be?"
This is when my sophistication shines.
I screamed, " Water! Give me water."
My mind went to thoughts of the movie "Wild Hogs."
Kate just looked at me.
I said again, "Bring me water, and keep it coming!" (Since I was in an Old-West town, I added, "And bring a water to everyone in the bar...on me!")
There were only two other old greasers in the bar. They didn't even have the courtesy to say, "Thanks long rider."
So much for western hospitality.
Chuck and I sat there sipping our water. We had already had guzzled four glasses, which evoked Kate, the barkeep, to say, "Slow'r on down there, cowboy, or you're going to find trouble in this here town."
We were sitting there when the saloon girl (a saloon girl is a waitress in an Old-West town...any old western movie will tell you that!) came up to Kate and said, "I have to go home, I can't take it anymore."
The girl looked distraught. Kate looked worried.
They looked in my direction.
I summoned the saloon girl.
She walked over.
I pulled up one of my Breads on my iPhone and asked her to read it.
She sat down, read the Bread, then paused, staring forward.
After a minute she said, "Can we talk?"
I say, "Okay." Let's call her Jeannie.
We went to a table and she sat down in a chair.
Anyone who has experienced sitting in a chair talking with me knows what is about to happen.
I sat and listened to Jeannie. She is a young girl deeply troubled.
After listening to Jeannie tell me her story I said, "Jeannie, usually I have more time to work with someone. Our time is short so with your permission I will be a bit blunt."
Jeannie said, "Okay."
I went right to the heart of her "flat tire experience."
She began to cry.
Over the next several minutes, I gave her tools to fix her flat tire.
Kate, a good friend to Jeannie, sat at a nearby table, not really trusting this water guzzling cowboy.
After Jeannie left, Kate came up to me and said, "That was amazing. I have never seen anything like that before. Thank you for helping."
I told Kate, "I don't know how much help I was. I just tried to give her some tools to help her cope.
God is funny. He doesn't care if you are on vacation or not.
A friend once said you cannot fire pastors. You can quit paying them, but you can't stop them from doing their job. I guess God knows that I feel retired. Since I am retired, every day is a vacation.
My prayer everyday is that He puts people in front of me so that I can give them a little glimpse of Him and His love for us.
God did not care that I was thirsty, tired, and weary.
I am reminded of something John tells us:
"Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink.' (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, 'How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?' (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink," you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.' The woman said to him, 'Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.' Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water'” (John 4:1-3, 5-15 ESV).
Jesus is the great teacher, healer, He is God incarnate.
If I am to be the hands and feet of Christ, I must be ready for any circumstance that comes my way.