The folks from last night invited me to breakfast down at the buffet.
They have GRITS! Real grits!
I’m the only Japanese bike rider in the whole motel, so needless to say, I stick out. Every few days I have to do a bit of bike work. The last major spot was up in Denver, so I’m due again. After breakfast it was time to work on the V. I spent the morning cleaning/adjusting/oiling the chain, cleaning the windscreen, and tightening a few loose bolts. I wanted to be back at 5:00 so I could go to church. Eureka Springs is known for their Passion Play, so I figured there were a few churches in town.
I’ve never seen one of these in California (or in Georgia for that matter!)
With a late start, I opted for a short jaunt around town. I didn’t have any of my luggage on the bike (YAY), so it was nice and peppy! I didn’t realize how much crap I had on it until it was all off.
The traffic on US 62 was horrific. I’m not a fast rider and it was painful for me. Car after car is going 30 in a 55. Fortunately that stretch was only 10 miles. Arkansas 21, 74, and 23 were rock-solid good rides. This area is starting to feel like the south. I’m seeing red clay, tree lined roads, and tea is now sweet by default.
I made it to church on time, actually early. I caught an older woman, Carmen, who had spilled some juice. I helped her clean up the carpet. The congregation was a bit older, but they were good folks. The music was done with guitar and banjo so it had that hoedown feel to the old hymns. The worship pastor announces that they are going to be doing some new music this summer. He leads us in “Amazing Love.” I had to laugh as I’d been singing that song for over ten years.
Being the evening service, the pastor leads a discussion from the book of Revelation where Jesus invites that if he knocks and we let him in he will have fellowship with us. The question was: “Why do some not open that door and others do?” A few of the answers were fear, hard hearts, and procrastination. The element of fear resonated with me. Particularly the fear of exposure. When coming to faith, we have to shed light into dark areas in life. I added my own two cents to that and the direction of conversation totally changed.
Rather than being about coming to faith, “it was shifted to is this a place that people can feel comfortable sharing their real selves.” People then started sharing where they’ve fallen short in reaching out or not realized the failings in themselves. I gathered that this group was the core members, so the level of conversation about growth in the congregation was pretty intense. I was surprised at the candor in that room that night.
Carmen, the older woman who spilled the juice, invited me to dinner.
Four of us shared a meal over at the local restaurant. I got to hear all about town from the Crescent Hotel, the changes since the 70’s, and where the hot spots were. After dinner we took a short tour of town. I was impressed. The downtown is well kept, the shops very quaint and the restaurants looked good. I could see this as a place to come vacation again. Good roads to ride and a fun downtown to hang out in.