Jason wrote me shortly after I arrived in San Francisco to say, that when I returned to Dallas, that he would be happy to drive me all the way back to where I left off. And that is exactly what he did. Jason has been a reporter and a journalist for many different news organizations over the years. As such he has a healthy curiosity about him, asks great questions, and is an attentive listener. That is why he walked up to me in a Starbucks in Dallas 2 months ago and asked me about my pilgrimage.

On our way back out to Alba, TX, we stopped off at the Cracker Barrel for dinner, and Jason delighted in treating me to a southern experience for my first time. We order fried apples, okra, biscuits, cornbread, and sweet tea.  While driving, Jason told me about his family and how their examples continue to inspire him in his life. The grandmother who was patient with her adult children’s mistakes, the grandfather/preacher who refused to take money for his services, and his uncle who taught him the value of stewardship.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree with Jason, as his willingness to drive over 200 miles for a stranger proves. As he left, I could see that Jason was torn with just leaving me in a church parking lot, but his belief in what I am attempting to do allowed him to go. He said he wished he could do something selfless like me…I told him he need only look in the mirror to see that he already has.

He encouraged me to take it all in…enjoy the South. With people like Jason in the world, how could you not.