I wanted to take a moment to describe an encounter with Christianity I experienced in my driveway yesterday. I was about to let this one pass because it was too personal. Upon reflection, I think the story is perfect for my blog. Let me know what you think.
Near sundown last night, my son and I were in the driveway of my house looking for a misplaced iPod. I noticed the neighborhood drunk standing across the street looking at me. He looked a little off. I though he might be drunk again, so I paid him no attention.
My son had our dog on a leash when the barking started. My dog is yippy. He barks at the wind. This time he was barking like the world was coming to and end. I look up from searching in my truck for the iPod to see my neighbor standing in the street near my driveway. He was gesturing to me. The last time he did this he need a ride and some cash to buy his nightly 40 oz bottle of beer. I figured he needed the same thing again.
I walked over and greeted him. He was not drunk, he was crying. I asked him what was wrong. He reached for my hand and shook it as if his life depended on it. He did not let go. His left arm came up to grab my shoulder. He said, “My dad died, I don’t know what to do.”.
I offered my condolences and inquired about when the death had happened. He told me it had happened on Valentines Day. He said his mother had died a few months before, and now that his dad had died, he did not now what to do. I asked him how I could help. He said, “Could you pray with me?”
I did not even hesitate. I simply said, “No, I am not a Christian”.
He looked up at me in surprise. He asked, “How about a hug then?”
I wrapped my arms around him and held him for several minutes while he sobbed. My son looked on is shock. I nodded to him that it was ok.
When the hug ended, I told the man that I was willing to help in any way I could. Including sharing a bottle of Jack. He smiled and told me I was a good man.
The truth is, I love the man. I love him just like I love everybody. I don’t have prayers in me, but a hug is a good atheist substitute. My son understood.I think it was a good lesson for him.