During the 2011 Christmas season, Patrick Greene, a confessed atheist, drove five hours from his home in San Antonia, TX to protest a nativity scene that was erected on the courthouse square in Henderson County.
Little did he know that the Christians he’d confront would impact his life so deeply.
Mr. Greene, a veteran of the United States Air Force, heard about Henderson County’s placement of the nativity scene the year before and threatened a lawsuit if the town put the religious symbols on government property again. The threat didn’t dissuade the residents of Athens, TX from doing the exact same thing in 2011, and when Greene heard that Baby Jesus was back, he packed up and drove five hours to dispute the nativity’s legality.
Unfortunately for Mr. Greene, upon his arrival in the small East Texas town, he suffered what he believed to be a detached retina. Worse still was the fact that he didn’t have any health insurance to cover the high cost of doctor visits, medications, and surgery. His poor health and faltering finances prevented him from protesting, and he was forced to return to San Antonio. Most were simply glad the altercation was over.
But not Jessica Crye.
The local Baptist parishioner saw a powerful opportunity to show God’s love…and she wasn’t about to let it get away.
Ms. Crye knew the real meaning of Christmas and wanted to share it with Mr. Greene, so she contacted the elderly atheist to see if he could use any help. He replied that groceries were needed until he could get his Social Security activated.
Jessica worked with her pastor to organize a fundraiser on behalf of Mr. Greene and they mailed him a $400 check. Furthermore, several Christians from the community offered to pay for Greene’s eye surgery. The help was a welcome relief to Mr. Greene and his wife. In the aftermath, he told reporters, “They said they wanted to do what real Christians are supposed to do – love you – and they wanted to help.”
What a fantastic testimony that reminds us of the original Christmas story. God gave mankind a Gift in Bethlehem even when we opposed Him…and these Christians did the same.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)