OPINION COLUMNS

Got a lift?

By Gerre Joiner | Published Saturday, February 7, 2015
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There was a man who lived a quiet life and without much fanfare, worked for years, made many friends, served faithfully through his church, and died a few years ago at the end of a long and fruitful life.

His wife continues to live in our community and enjoy friendships the couple nurtured through the years.

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

Limited resources recently made a simple car problem a big problem for the widow. Seems contrived, but truly the only times she drives the car are when she’s going to church or to the beauty shop.

She didn’t mention her limited resources or the automotive problem to anyone, but good friends knew the situation and decided to try to help.

They did.

On a recent Sunday morning, her church friends collected more than enough money to take care of the auto repair bill. It was my responsibility to take her car to the garage and instruct them to repair it, then to call me when it was ready.

Fast-forward to this morning when I was seated with my friends at the coffee shop. I received a phone call with information from the garage that the car was ready to be picked up.

I was seated with about 10 men. More than half of them knew my widow friend and had supped coffee with her late husband on countless occasions. Any one of them would have helped me retrieve the car. I picked one of my friends and said, “I have a blessing for you.”

I shared my need for help. I mentioned the name of the owner, and he was immediately interested.

  • I needed a lift to the garage to get the car.
  • I hoped he would follow me to the home of the owner.
  • Then I needed a lift back to the coffee shop where my pickup was parked.

He quickly said, “I can do that,” and we were off.

As we traveled to the garage and on the way back to the coffee shop, my coffee shop friend and I talked about important things:

  • Blessings associated with long-term friendships. We ought to develop them.
  • Blessings associated with friendships developed in a county seat town like ours. We ought to be thankful for the wholesome/helpful environment we enjoy in Decatur, Texas. I’m wondering if the same kind of “help-your-neighbor” attitude could be found in Dallas or Houston or other large cities. I want to think that attitude is there, but I’m guessing it’s more difficult to find there than here in Decatur.
  • We agreed that human nature kind of craves bad news for some reason, but there is a profoundly good sensation that saturates a neighbor-helping-neighbor story like this one.
  • There are good people and good stories all around us. We ought to treasure those good stories and encourage those good people.

I’m sure glad to live in a community in which I can team with others to help someone. I’m sure glad to know that if I need help, there’ll probably be somebody there to give me a lift.

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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