He told us a story about when he was young, and working at a gas station in the Nashville, TN area. He said that from time to time, Elvis Presley would come in, and go to the back room. While in the back, Elvis would change into a gas station attendant uniform, and then go out front and pump gas. He said that people would ask Elvis if anyone ever told him that he looked like Elvis Presley. Elvis would reply, "Yes, I get that from time to time." and continue working. So, if you ever stopped at a gas station near Nashville back when Elvis was alive, and someone who looked like Elvis pumped your gas...
I don't know if that story is true or not, but here are a few things I do know about my friend Mr. R. G.
* He made it to Florida, and could not get in to stay at (or was not accepted by?) the Veteran's home where he wanted to stay.
* He is now traveling back to Nashville, where he has at least one brother.
* He is kind to cats, because even though some people don't like them, everything has its purpose. I agree Mr. R. G., I agree.
* He prefers to wear dark pants (they show less dirt) with lots of pockets. Pockets are good.
* He is from the Nashville area.
* He is a Titans fan.
* He does not like to leave his stuff. It is a bicycle (that he pushes), with a train of three wagons behind it. Probably absolutely nothing of any value. But to him, it is everything, because it is everything he owns.
* He is self admittedly addicted to caffeine, and nicotine.
* He wishes that he had never stopped taking guitar lessons, so that he would know how to play the guitar.
* He will not ask for anything, but if he needs something that is offered to him, he won't turn it down.
* He is self conscious. He was worried about his appearance and if it was okay for him to come in and worship with us. He cleaned up the best he could so that he was presentable.
* His observation to my husband after worshipping with us: "People in your church are afraid to go forward. They are afraid of what other people will say about them. All it takes is one person to go forward. You could even pay someone to be that first person." then he laughed. Lord, help us to get to the point where we are so concerned and broken over our own sin, that being right with You is the most important thing. Nothing else matters. Especially not the opinions of other equally sinful people.
* He has nothing good to say about people who steal, and people who lie. He also thinks that if someone will do one, they will do both.
* He is Stubborn - with a capital S!
* He likes to make people laugh
* While we sleep in our comfortable beds, in our comfortable homes, he refuses our offer of an air conditioned room, and and air mattress, and chooses instead to sleep outside in a folding chair.
* He would not accept our offer for a place to get out of the rain.
* Did I mention he is stubborn?
* His presence, and his friendship make us ask and answer questions that we don't necessarily want to face, but we grow from the asking and answering.
* He has nothing, and yet he is generous. Someone had just given him a Gatorade and a bag of ice when my Prince, and the Young Prince saw him and pulled over. He insisted they take the bag of ice, because he could not use it.
* He told me about a lady who gave him a handful of change. He said he realized that in among the coins was a ring. He told her thank you for the change, but he doubted that she had meant to give him the ring, and he gave it back to her. He said she thanked him, and cried.
* He has worn out 7 pairs of shoes.
* His last advice to my children was to be kind, curious, and cautious.
* He reminds us to be thankful, and humble.
* He has made a huge impact on our family - making us examine ourselves, stretching our comfort zones, and helping us to know that it is impossible to judge the true character of someone by only looking at their physical appearance.
* We hope and pray for him to find a place to settle down and be safe, but we also hope that one day we will have the privilege of crossing paths with him again.
* May we be observant enough to learn from all who cross our paths, because everyone has something of value to teach us. Just as we have something of value to share with others.