After shotgunning sodas from the vending machine near Fontana Village this morning, it was off to what we thought was going to be a quick resupply in Robbinsville, NC.On the walk there, I was constantly humbled by the beauty of the fall leaves. Even though I love for the sun to be out, I really enjoyed the brilliance of the colors against the grey sky. The sun did come out for a few moments too while it formed a lake of clouds over Fontana. Father is such a good artist!Upon hitching into Robbinsville for what we thought was a quick trip to Dollar General to purchase enough junk food to get us to Franklin, things took an unexpected turn.
Step 1: hikers being tempted by the 4 for 4 meal at Wendy’s. For those of you unfamiliar with this amazing deal, you can get 1000 calories in the form of soda, chicken nuggets, fries, and a hamburger for only $4! For the hiker, this usually turns into 8 for 8, or even the highly sought after and revered 12 for 12 (I have yet to pull that one off).Step 2: the Lord sends Pastor Eric into Wendy’s to dine with a man he’s just met.
Step 3: since I haven’t changed clothes since June, Pastor Eric recognizes me and my entourage and invites us all to sleep in his church.
Springer isn’t going to spring away, so we gladly took him up on his offer to skip another cold night in a musty shed in the woods. We gratefully enjoyed pizza, mead, soda, and time to relax at the church. BamBam even prepared a “sermon” about the trail dedicated to Little Debbie, the maker of our favorite snack: Honey Buns.I enjoyed reading some of my favorite childhood Bible stories-especially the one from 2 Kings about a bear attacking some kids who wanted to make fun of a poor old bald dude. That was a camp favorite when I worked at Wesley Woods!
This sounds like fun and games (and indeed there were plenty of laughs), but I can’t understate what a tremendous testimony nights like this are to my friends. Some told me that they haven’t stepped in a church since childhood, let alone felt welcomed. The number of faith questions that they’ve asked me have multiplied immensely in the days since we’ve been having experiences like this. Every act of kindness counts!