Some of you may have seen this story earlier when Gospel Coalition highlighted it. I missed it, somehow. It’s quite remarkable. An atheist locked in a battle with Christians over a Nativity Scene was shocked when, in the midst of public conflict, a local church gave hundreds and hundreds of dollars to help pay for his medical expenses.
A few weeks ago, Patrick Greene of San Antonio, was known in Henderson County simply as a professed atheist who threatened to sue Henderson County about the courthouse manger scene. Greene’s experience with Christians was of narrow-minded individuals who had treated him unkindly throughout his life.
“My wife and I had never had a Christian do anything nice for us,” Greene said. “Just the opposite.”
That changed when the 63-year-old learned he had a detached retina. Greene was forced to give up driving his Yellow Cab, and resign himself to his impending blindness.
Eye surgery would cost $20,000 he said, and he didn’t even have the money to pay bills or buy groceries.
Jessica Crye, a member of Sand Springs Baptist Church in Athens, learned of his troubles on the Internet, and felt compelled to help.
Crye’s pastor, the Rev. Eric Graham, contacted Greene to find out more about his needs.
…Greene said he was “flabbergasted” to learn that a group of Christians in Henderson County was reaching out to help an atheist, who in February had informed Commissioners Court that he would sue if the manger scene reappeared this year.
“I told my wife about it,” Greene said.
“They’re going to help us?” Karen asked.
Greene thought that if anything, he’d see $50, maybe $100.
A few days later, the Christians made good on their promise, and sent a check for $400.
“I said I can’t believe it,” Greene said. “I thought I was in the Twilight Zone.”
Read the whole story. It’s encouraging for at least two reasons: 1) Christians being godly and Christlike and 2) an atheist getting to see that firsthand.