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Dow: Some Evangelicals can’t see

Marie Elizabeth Shade Dow
Valley Voices

I never knew I was an “evangelical” (I thought I was “regular”), but my formative years were spent in First Evangelical Lutheran Church, so perhaps a bit rubbed off on the worst-behaved kid in Sunday school.

Marie Elizabeth Shade Dow

After attending a Lutheran university, maturing and learning to sit still and keep quiet, I have been a “friend of the congregation” of Mount of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Vail for many years, and I have enjoyed the Tuesday evening Bible Study.

As an aside, there used to be an assistant to Pastor Don Simonton who rode up to our women’s afternoon Bible Study on his motorcycle flaunting a package of cigarettes rolled up in his T-shirt sleeve, and current Pastor Scott Beebe volunteers with Vail Mountain Rescue. There is no denying that Lutherans can be cool.



Several years ago, in a class led by former Pastor Carl Walker, a very compassionate individual, I took heed of his message to “give to others” — even to the point of sacrifice. Now, I take no pride in being a self-righteous proselyte, rather I was most likely atoning for my past sins of disrupting those obligatory and boring Sunday school classes of my childhood.

Anyway, we were in the midst of a home renovation and the workmen needed something from Home Depot. I grabbed my driver’s license, car keys, a can of Diet Coke, a few singles and my debit card. Having had nothing to eat that morning, I bought one of those huge, scrumptious chocolate muffins from Avon Bakery & Deli on the way to Home Depot.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



After making my purchases, I noticed a fellow sitting at the corner of the business access road and the parking lot for Walmart which is located next to Home Depot. He held one of those handmade cardboard signs written quite illegibly, “STARVED … ” with something else written below.

At this point, I had already opened my Diet Coke, but I stopped the car, descended, and made the supreme sacrifice of handing him the little bakery sack containing my untouched chocolate muffin. I thought all that rich chocolate, sugar and carbs would hold him for a few hours.

He looked at me with the most confounded expression but said nothing. Then I read his sign correctly which stated, “STRANDED … need money for gas.”

Actually, I had no money. We stared at each other for a suspended moment of time.

He finally asked feebly, “Is there a church nearby?” I pointed to the steeple directly in front of us and replied, “I am not sure it is open.”

No more said, no “thank yous,” not even a “God bless you.” I headed for my car, deflated in my first attempt at practicing Pastor Walker’s lesson in supreme sacrifice.

I must confess, however: I almost asked for my muffin back.


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