Who are you happy to know?

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist
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Are there people in your life you are happy to know? Do Good Samaritans live in your home, attend your church, work with you, socialize with you, play sports with you, cross your path as strangers? A Good Samaritan’s concern and cause to help people in need becomes a way of life when connected to Christ. The Vine (Jesus) lives in hearts, giving peace and joy to the precious people… ‘chosen ones’ we are happy to know. Good Samaritans’ fruit grows sweeter as the days go by – reaching heights beyond the sky.

The following poem was on several Mother’s Day cards I sent this year. The message is the perfect story starter to stir your heart as it did mine with each card I addressed and mailed to people I am happy to know.

“If there’s someone you can talk to, someone no one can replace,

If there’s someone you can laugh with ‘till the tears run down your face,

If there’s someone you can turn to when you need a helping hand,

If there’s someone you can count on to advise and understand…

If there’s someone you think more of as the years all come and go –

Then, you’ve found someone so special it’s a joy to tell that person so!”

Good Samaritans come in all shapes and sizes, from far away and close to home, some do a little – others do a lot, but they all fit in one special category…helping others and giving God the glory.

Good Samaritans from long ago come to mind as I ponder on people in my life I am happy to know or to have known – many of them made their mark and have passed on! Mr. Pete was one of the first Good Samaritans to touch my life. From the time I was five and helping bag groceries and pump gas, I remember him driving to our country store every Saturday afternoon with shoes shined and straw hat blowing in the wind. His old mule pulled his wagon with Mr. Pete sitting tall and proud like a soldier on the wood board that served as his seat. He stopped to give rides to children whose parents gave a nod of approval on his way.

My family loved Mr. Pete and let me climb up in his wagon and sit beside him all the way to Mr. Cleveland’s driveway when he started home. First, he tied his mule to the tall pine tree my brother and I used for our Tarzan and Jane swing. Then, Billy and I would run to meet him and ask to ride in his wagon. We knew his stay at our store would last for hours, so we enjoyed playing rolling can and endured straightening the bottles (glass bottles drinks came in that had to be sorted and placed in wooden drink crates we stacked tall on our side porch. The drink men loved what mama made us do, for their job was easier when they delivered drinks and loaded crates neatly filled with empty bottles on their trucks) while waiting for Mr. Pete.

Some people kindly referred to Mr. Pete with another title before his name but mama and daddy insisted he was Mr. Pete, so that’s how I learned to love this sweet, humble, kindhearted, dark skinned man who taught me respect of animals and people through the way he lived. When he finished his little Coca cola, pigs foot, piece of hoop cheese and loose coconut crackers he retrieved from the big glass jar on our counter, I placed his empty bottle in the crate and helped him gather his groceries. Through the years Mr. Pete’s beard greyed, his back curved, he moved much slower, and he depended on us to help him climb on his wagon and get settled in his hard seat.

And one Saturday afternoon, Mr. Pete didn’t come down the road on his wagon pulled by his old mule. We waited and wondered where our Good Samaritan could be. Soon, news spread through the community that Mr. Pete was gone Home. For six years, he did good deeds that rose up in my heart when I looked at that old pine tree and flashbacks of Mr. Pete I could see. Some people touch little children’s lives powerfully with love and respect for them growing greater as we get older. Mr. Pete taught me lessons of living like Jesus without ever mentioning His name. Surely, he is in Heaven’s Hall of Fame.

Recently, a Good Samaritan I have never met came to mind while preparing the book for Tuesday morning prayer. The prayer book opened to a page dated, March 13, 2018. Mr. Willie Mitchell’s name was written near the scripture we shared on that cold Tuesday morning.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will do this.” …Psalm 37

Standing beside the prayer table with book in hand and words about Mr. Willie stirring my heart, I thanked God for good people doing good things for our good God who loves seeing modern day Good Samaritans making a difference in the world He made. Mr. Willie is Scout Master for Troop 133 and donates much time and preparation preparing events and leading his scouts by the example Jesus taught.

I remembered sending a Pizza/Prayer card to Mr. Willie with appreciation for the many good deeds he does throughout our community and the time spent molding lives of young men who will never forget his dedication and devotion to God, country, family…and his scouts! Weeks later, my sister – Patty Cherry – sent a text with a picture of her presenting the Pizza/Prayer Card to Mr Willie in a church service at Lisbon Street, where she attends. The pastor recognized her to share powerful words about Mr. Willie’s Good Samaritan way of life and about Tim’s Gift and Dominos honoring him with prayer and a free large pizza. His smiling face stirred my heart as did Mr. Pete’s long ago…for the title before their names is the same: Good Samaritan Pete and Good Samaritan Willie – sharing good deeds along their way and shining like Jesus every day.

Do you have special memories of people in your life you are happy to know…or have known. We should take time to thank them…for one day they (or you and I) could be gone…Home!

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By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner/operator of Tim’s Gift Love Ministry.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner/operator of Tim’s Gift Love Ministry.