Pay it Forward

Today we entered the heart of Wyoming. With the exception of the large stony hills that punctuate the horizon, the landscape here is very broad and very green.   It is hot here, very hot; too hot for towns and most 21st Century Americans.  It is a landscape fit for only prairie dogs, cattle, and the kind of people Theodore Roosevelt referred to when he talked about “rugged individualism” almost 100 years ago.  I suppose there would be Buffalo here too if we hadn’t slaughtered them about 150 years ago.

That said, I write not to tell you about the scenery, though it is quite stunning; rather, I write to tell you about a simple act of generosity I experienced earlier today.  On the way back from the Buffalo, WY IGA, Sandy, Xixi and I ran into two young men carrying several packages of flour tortillas. After learning that we were cycling across the country (the shirts are a dead giveaway) these two young men invited us over to a Mexican-style BBQ at a relative’s house!  In this way, the three of passed the next few hours eating, taking, and getting to know the friends and family of the relative, Tom Saur, a pastor at a local church.

I will never cease to be amazed by simple acts of kindness like this one.  Over the past 44 days strangers from all walks of life have opened up the private spheres of their life – their homes, places of worship, and community centers – to help our team.  In a time when it seems as though we – the 300 million people who make up this country- have grown and are continuing to grow further apart from one another and write-off strangers, it is moments like this one that give me hope. 

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