A pilgrim walked into an RV park. At first he met Connie and Steve. Connie and Steve after listening to the pilgrim for awhile loaded his cart with juice and offered him breakfast. They gave him free coffee, but then they give free coffee to everyone in order to build community. It is perhaps not the best business model to give away for free the thing that everyone is addicted to, but it is the “kind” people they are as well as the kind of people they are.

After paying for a shower at the RV office and receiving permission to use the internet in the Rec. Hall, the pilgrim proceed to the said edifice. There he met Hank. Hank brought a guitar and a fiddle in with him, and began tuning up. The pilgrim offered to play with him. Hank was a bluegrass player of the first rate, and he made it a point to tell the pilgrim that he could be found on the internet in the Blue Grass Hall Of Fame. Hank didn’t like where the pilgrim was sitting, and although the pilgrim offered to move and did move three times, Hank seemed to be put off by the fact that the pilgrim was in his hall at all.

Hank asked the pilgrim his name several times, those hard of hearing have a hard time with peace. Peace has been called Pete and peep many times. Hank didn’t like the idea that the pilgrim’s name is Peace. And took the  occasion, as many people have, and demanded, “Tell me what your real name is?”

The Pilgrim told him, “Peace is my real name, however it isn’t my birth name. If you really must know, I will let them know my birth name.” Hank then went out of his way to call the pilgrim by his birth name instead of Peace, as if to let the pilgrim know, “I don’t agree with what you are doing and to put you in your place I will box you in.”

The name issue gnawed at Hank for awhile, and then he finally asked the pilgrim why he changed it. The pilgrim replied, “I took to heart the words of Mohandes Gandhi, namely that, ‘if you wish to see a change in the world you need to be that change. I want to see world peace, and so I’ve adopted it as my mantle.'” Hank asked the pilgrim 4 times who Gandhi was, and then finally burst out in near anger. “You shouldn’t have changed your name. You should take pride in your name. Jesus gave you that name, and you should work for God. There ain’t no place better than the US of A. No one could make me change my name from Hank. Jesus, gave me that name. And that’s the fact jack!”

With that he left the hall. And the pilgrim sat their stunned. The pilgrim thought to ask Hank about the Apostle Paul who changed his name from Saul after his conversion experience, but felt that would only stir the pot.

The next people the pilgrim met were Fred and Linda, and they too wished to know what this pilgrim was doing. After the pilgrim told them, the gentleman pushed a evangelist tract across the table toward the pilgrim. Curious, the pilgrim asked Fred, “What about me makes you think that I need this, or perhaps that I don’t know what it says inside? I’ve studied all world religions, and have found that we tend to focus on those things that separate us rather than the things that unify us.”

Fred replied, “Well that is just it, world religions. I have a God, they have religion. Aren’t you worried about your salvation?”

To Fred’s astonishment, the pilgrim replied, “No.” He continued, “It seems to me to be the most selfish of pursuits to be so worried about your own salvation, like hell or “fire” insurance. Making sure that “I” am taken care of.” The pilgrim followed this line of thinking with his commentary, “From what I have read regarding the words of Jesus, I remember him saying, ‘And you will know my disciples by their love for one another.’ And again, ‘If you love me, feed my sheep.'” The pilgrim continued saying that he was concerned with, “serving others. Love isn’t me forcing my opinion on another, it is serving others in their moment of need, doing what I can to love others. I can give hugs, I can feed when able, I can run, I can paint, and I can draw. This is what I can do to love on others. Perhaps what I do will inspire others to do what they can for love.”

Fred, seemed to hear the pilgrim’s words, but didn’t give them credence. Fred continued to urge the pilgrim to, “Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, repent, and live a godly life.” The pilgrim considered his words, and found it funny that although his tunic is emblazoned with love and peace, and although he speaks of serving others, Fred still saw him as a ‘sinner’.

The pilgrim contemplated these interactions and contrast them to the one presented by Steve and Connie. These two, who asked for nothing, but made available to all free coffee in order to build a community. These people didn’t preach or berate, but rather forced into the pilgrims hands a grill cheese sandwich, some juice packets, and some money. The pilgrim felt that that grill cheese was the best he’d had in a long while…because it was made with love. Connie wanted the pilgrim to take water bottles as well, but the tap was good enough for the pilgrim and he was humbled by the generosity shown.

Which of these was the neighbor to the pilgrim? Who was most loving? Who was most like Christ? Who was most Christian? It struck the pilgrim as a quandary, what a big difference between those who profess and those who actually do.

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