An author writes of a close friend and her intriguing encounter.
She spent her summers in a small town in Vermont where Paul Newman was known to spend some time. Early one Sunday morning she rose to take a long walk. She returned to discover her family still in bed.
Craving something cold and sweet she went into town to the bakery shop, which was also the ice cream shop, to get a double dip ice cream. She hopped into the car and drove into the empty town. She parked in front of the store, walked in and there at the counter was the sole customer, Paul Newman, eating a doughnut and having coffee. She decided to play it cool. “OK,” she thought. “It’s his town too. This poor man is entitled to his privacy just like anyone else. So I’ll not make a big deal out of this.”
She simply walked up to the counter and ordered her cone exactly as she would have done with anyone else sitting there. She nodded politely to Mr. Newman, laid her two dollars on the counter and left. She then walked back out to her car, proud of how she had handled the situation, only to discover that though she had a handful of change, she didn’t have her ice cream cone.
Flustered, she knew she needed to go back inside and retrieve it. So she did. But the cone wasn’t on the counter. Instead of a quick retrieval and run, she was forced to go back over and stand next to Mr. Newman to call for the clerk. Again playing it cool, she once more nodded politely. Before she could say anything, Paul Newman broke out into a warm, friendly smile and said, “You put it in your purse.”
We are captivated by the stars of our society! The recent Academy Awards ceremony captured their every sparkle and glow. We want to know what they wear on special occasions and also around the house. After all, as I was once told by a group of teens during a Bible study, if we don’t know what clothes the stars wear we won’t know which ones to buy for ourselves. We might even get so excited in their presence we can’t think straight.
Nearby, sometimes unnoticed, are the true stars that give us the warmth and light to live by. They are our family and friends. They are our co-workers. They are the clerks who give us our double dip ice creams.
How excited are we to be around them? How intrigued are we by their thoughts and opinions? Are we kind or do we take them for granted?
The Bible is clear. Everyone, great or small, is created in the image of God. Everyone is an immortal being capable of faith, hope and love.
And Jesus could not be clearer. When you do something kind to anyone, even the “least of these,” “you do it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Rick Cupp, is minister of the Kenai Fellowship, Mile 8.5 Kenai Spur Highway, 283-7682. Sunday Bible classes, are at 10 a.m., worship at 11:15 a.m. The Wednesday meal is at 6:15 p.m., Bible classes at 7 p.m.