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08 July, 2010


It is very rare that followers of Wrights Lane take me up on my invitation to provide comment.  The previous post "A Strange Church Attendance Analogy...", moved Wanda Pellerin of Dresden to respond with the following very personal submission.  While the former Wanda Grey is not a current church adherent, I well remember her, brother Larry and sister Karen attending St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Sunday School in Dresden more years ago than any of us care to acknowledge.  I cannot help but think that something from that formative era rubbed off on her.  This is a story from her heart that deserved to be told. 


I have said many times over the years whenever questioned about my beliefs and why I do not go to church, that "I do not have to go to church to be a Christian or a good person".  I have seen a lot of Christians who were hypocrites and sit in church in all their finery every week but would not help another human being in need unless they were related to them, and even then with hesitation.

I have always made it a point to help people whenever I can in practical ways.  Among other things, I have provided free lodging in my home for people who had no other place to go. I have done this on four occasions (so far) and have been severely criticized at times, but did it anyway! I did what any GOOD Christian or Jesus would have done.

One was a young man who had been sleeping in the local park, under a picnic table in rainy weather for three days before he came to my door. He had hitchhiked all the way from Quebec alone, looking for work but showed up in town too early for the tomato harvest. The child of migrant workers, he barely knew me as someone who had given his family used clothing and my husband had paid him for some small chores during the harvest season three years before when he was just 12 years of age.  I remembered him as a good little worker who helped my husband around the yard at the time.  His family knew us as the people down the street who spoke French.  So, out of desperation and on his own, he turned to me three years later because he still spoke very little English.

My husband and I had recently separated, so it was rumoured in town "she's living with a 15-year-old boy now".  I had three children, the oldest of which was 12, and they were consulted and approved of my decision which was the important thing to me.

The young man stayed with us for more than two months and we had agreed that when he found a job he would pay me $15 a week for room and board.  I helped him find odd jobs and arranged to pick out some new inexpensive clothing for him with the first money he earned.  A friend of his from Quebec arrived in town eventually and convinced him to hitchhike back home as suitable work was still not available in town. He stayed long enough, however, to collect his pay cheque.  He owed me $90.00 for the time he had worked and his final pay was for $97 and change.  He insisted that I take it all but I refused, saying I would take only what he owed me.  As much as I hated to take any of his money, I took it with the explanation that I wanted him to learn responsibility by paying what he had promised.  I packed them a lunch and they were off on their journey back to Quebec.

The boy could have left town with his full pay cheque and not even said goodbye, but he did not do that!  We had an agreement.  I felt very privileged and proud to explain to my children how responsibly he had acted.

We were all better for having had the experience.

NOTE FROM DICK:  You are right Wanda.  Yours was an act of Christian kindness and I'm sure the young man (where ever he might be) still remembers that nice lady in Dresden who opened her home to him. 
*Wanda is a volunteer driver in her community, taking people to doctors and out-patient hospital appointments in neighbouring Chatham, Wallaceburg, London, Windsor and Sarnia.  She even helped a certain starving author sell a few copies of his books last year.

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