In Luke 18:8, Jesus asked: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” I am grateful to say that, if He came back right now, He would. Though popular culture may seem otherwise, we see faith often as we travel from convention to convention.
As Ray and I continued south on Sunday night after our visit to the Woodrow Wilson birthplace, I saw three crosses beside the road and snapped a picture from our moving vehicle so I could show them to you.
Soon after seeing the crosses, we stopped at Hardee’s. I went in ahead of Ray, who was doing some rearranging in the van. As I got close to the door, I was surprised to see a small band playing inside. I turned back toward the car, telling Ray, “I need my camera. They’re having a hootenanny.”
When I went inside, I was delighted to see and hear, not a hootenanny at all, but a group of men playing a big bass and other string instruments. As the five men played, a male singer and a female singer sang gospel songs. Since they were playing near the door, I felt a bit sheepish coming in behind them. I really felt like an intruder when I saw Hardee’s filled with their audience, who was facing the band–and now me! Embarrassed as I was, I walked through the packed restaurant (with many eyes on me) and snapped this photo.
The group did a beautiful job of “I’ll Fly Away.” I like that old song for several reasons, including my memory of a sweet day more than thirty years ago. At the time Ray was a campus minister at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, which is a special place to us. There I birthed each of our babies and there sweet ladies from church taught me by word and example how to be a mama.
One day toddler John sat in the backseat of our Toyota Corolla (the cheapest car sold in America, at the time) while I drove on some errand. As I sang “I’ll Fly Away,” little John asked his mommy, “Fly away? What does that mean?” Of course, I can hardly hear or sing it without spending a moment back there in that green Toyota on an Oxford street with John in the car seat.
Evidently I came in at the end of the concert Sunday night. As the group packed up to go, I complimented one of the musicians. He told me that they do this every second Sunday evening of the month. He said that it all started one day when three people including his minister were at Hardee’s. The minister said, “Let’s get up and sing.” They did, and they have kept on doing it for sixteen years now. More musicians have joined the group through the years. Hardee’s is a popular destination on second Sunday nights.
If you ever pass through Troutville, Virginia, on a second Sunday night, maybe you, too, can hear people sing their hearts out, see a room crowded with grateful listeners, and help boost sales at Hardee’s–that is, if you can find a seat!
Let your light shine before men
in such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.