11 01 2015

Even though it’s been nearly 35 years I remember the day well I received the call; “Hello,” This is the operator, I have a collect call from Bob G—-, will you accept the call?” I let out a little chuckle before saying, “Sure.” “What’s so funny?!!” Bob Rock _nbarked at me soon as we connected. “I don’t know, just a feeling I had that I’d be hearing from you; what’s going on Bob?” Mindy threw me out is what’s going on! She and her new boyfriend drove me across town and stopped in front of this flophouse, got my suitcase out of the trunk, made me get out of the car and left me here! It’s scary here but I’ve got no place else to go and I only have enough money to stay two more nights. I was an idiot to ever get involved with her and I just want to come home. Would you be able to send me bus fare to get back to Indiana?” Oh boy, here’s a good one! I told Bob to call me back in 30 minutes and hung up. I sat there for a moment, thoughts in rewind as I remembered everything that led to poor Bob’s demise.

He had met this gal a good twenty years his junior and fell head over heals in love with her. In most situations falling in love is a good thing, but in Bob’s case there were five major problems, namely his wife and four kids. Several people tried to warn him he was making a mistake, but he wouldn’t hear of it, he knew what he was doing. Actually Bob wasn’t very popular with many folks because of his attitude and bragging ways and this decision didn’t help any. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him, he was going to be happy! Within six months he divorced his wife, moved in with Mindy and shortly thereafter they married. A couple months later he told us at work that the two of them were moving to where she had lived in Boise, ID. I told him it’s not a good time to be giving up a good job, and of course he didn’t listen to me either. It took about another three months living in their new fancy apartment there in Boise before the money ran out, Mindy moved a new guy in and old Bob found himself alone and a resident of the Fleabag Hilton.

Cathy and I discussed his situation and what, if anything we could do. After all, we had our first child and my Lady was a few months from giving birth to our next; so money was tight. After some discussion and prayer, we decided to send him the money, with Cathy adding this, “Let’s not tell him we’re loaning him the money, if he doesn’t pay it back it’ll just make me mad and I don’t want that hanging over us.” Bob picked up the money at the nearest Western Union, bought his bus ticket and soon was singing “Back home again in Indiana!” Couple of weeks later he stopped by the house to say he had found a job and would pay us back as soon as he could. Taking Cathy’s cue, I told him “Don’t worry about it Bob.” I still remember his next two words, “Okay thanks,” and he left. My gal and I agreed we didn’t want to get an attitude toward this guy, but he sure didn’t make it easy!

August of ‘81 our first son Jeremy David joined is sister, Jamie Melissa as part of the Mille Clan and it was a very happy time. Unfortunately, the rest of that year wasn’t the greatest since I was laid off from my job for one week a month, and when I did get to work it was only part time. Money was certainly tight, but my wonderful wife being a born economist was able to keep our heads above water; there weren’t any luxuries, but we did alright.

One day Bob stopped by the house unexpectedly for a short visit. He told us how he was working two jobs now and was finally getting back on his feet, and the bragging that turned so many people off to him was back in full gear. Then he stopped, reached in his back pocket for his wallet. Opening it he pulled out a good size wad of money and began counting it. Cathy and I looked at each other a little wide eyed now. Were we getting ready to experience a miracle at a time we could use one. Was Bob actually getting ready to pay us back the money we gave him? Be still my Heart!! After Bob had finished counting his money in front of us he shoved it back in his wallet saying, “Going to the grocery and just wanted to see how much money I had on me. When we left Cath and I agreed that he would never get passed our door again; and the anger burned!!!

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

It took a while for us to remember that we gave the money as a gift so we wouldn’t harbor the ill feeling we now had. Should Bob have made an attempt to pay us back especially since his situation was now better than ours? Well, there’s a side of me that says I think so; I know I would have, just like any of you would. But again that’s not how we gave him the “gift.” It wasn’t based on what he would do, but what we felt we should do. Then again the little voice in my ear was saying, “Well at least he could have shown some appreciation for what we did for him, Right?!!! I think it was shortly after this turmoil that God slapped me upside the head with this quote from His servant C.S. Lewis: “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

As an old friend would say at a moment like this, “Well ain’t that a kick in the head?” Yep!

If I’ve learned anything about the faith I profess, it’s that it cannot be based on what anyone else does; it must be anchored to what my Lord teaches me about living for Him and doing His will over mine, no matter what.

“We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn’t come naturally. It’s a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.” Charles R. Swindoll

No argument!

Traveling the Rock Road is not always an easy passage, especially when ones like my man Bob crosses your path, it can make the journey harder and even give credence to ending the journey entirely. But I’ve found that whatever the cost, as long as I continue to trust in the “Rock,” my Lord and Savior, the payoff overwhelms the cost.

2 Corinthians 8:9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

When my heart drinks in this truth, this richness; I have to ask, so what’s a few lost dollars anyway? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.
See you next time!!




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