Reader Post | by JDEV
A CHRISTIAN HERALD
VOL. VII. No. 28
A PLATE OF BEANS
One day I had sailed all day, alone, through the Dismal Swamp Canal. As evening approached I began to look for a place to rest through the night. I hadn’t stopped to eat all day so I was really hungry. I rounded a bend in the canal and came into a fairly long straight stretch. About half way down the stretch I came upon a dock attached to a small restaurant.
The sign read, Free dock when you buy a meal. This place was one of those little places that looked like the owner had put all he had into it and it still wasn’t quite enough. But I pulled in and tied up. I walked into the little restaurant and asked about the sign. “Yep, that’s the deal. You can tie up all night if you buy one meal here.”
I knew I didn’t have enough money to pay the minimum dockage fee so I said, “Can I look at your menu?”
The owner/waiter/cook and matradee, smiling laid the menu on the table. I’m sure my half starved, and fully exhausted condition was obvious to him. Finally I said, “The only thing I can afford is a plate of baked beans. Is that going to be enough?
“Cummin’ right up.” He said still smiling.
“I don’t see how you can keep going here with customers like me.”
“Oh some days are better than others. Enjoy your dinner.” he said as he set a large plate of baked beans with a couple slices of buttered bread in front of me.
“Thank you,” I said as he walked back to his chair at the counter.
I enjoyed a good nights sleep that night at his dock and made sure I was out of the way early in the morning.
I have often thought of that fellow struggling to make a viable business out of his dock and the little restaurant. In his case I never think of that evening without a heart full of appreciation for what I considered to be great generosity. So many years have passed now that I expect his business is no longer supporting him. Maybe, hopefully, he had a son or daughter to take over and continue his work of helping poor sailors in need of a plate of beans and a quiet night’s rest.
ACH VII 28 JD
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