Patrick Greene, an atheist suffering problems with his sight, has his eyes opened by some Christians living 5 hours north of his home. Though their first interactions were less than happy, they are now getting along quite nicely, thank you.
Greene, who lives with his wife and their cat, Big Boy, in San Antonio, learned that some Christians had erected a nativity on the courthouse square in Henderson County. Believing that the religious display had no place on government property, he swore that if it happened again, he would file a suit.
Upon arriving in Henderson to follow through on his promise, Greene was forced to leave. He was unable to lead a planned rally because is vision was giving him trouble. He thought he might have a detached retina and could be losing his sight. He was forced to give up his job as a taxi cab driver and was left with no health insurance.
While Greene may have thought that was the end of his dealing with Henderson County, a group of Christians living there had other ideas. When they learned of Greene’s situation, they decided to help the man out with a donation. One member of San Springs Baptist Church, Jessica Crye, saw this as an opportunity to practice what they preach. Some people in the county were relieved that Greene’s condition would force him to leave them alone but Crye organized a fundraiser to show that turning the other cheek was the right way to do things.
Pastor Eric Graham claims there was no thought given to the decision. He said their congregation doesn’t discriminate when someone needs help, whether they are Christian or not, or a member of the church or not. They simply help those in need.
A number of Henderson County Christians offered to pay for the surgery but Greene declined their generosity on the grounds that there was no guarantee the surgery would work. He didn’t want their donation to go to waste.
The group asked if there was another way they could help. The eight-year Air Force veteran conceded he could use help buying groceries until he could get his social security benefits straightened out. Greene was moved and surprised when he received a check for $400 from the group. He replied by email to the group to let them know how he had used their gift.
He said that he, his wife and their cat now had enough food to survive until their social security checks begin to arrive. He did not spend any of it on alcohol because none of them drink. He also did not spend any of it on sports because none of them like sports.
Since then, Greene has learned he has glaucoma, which forced him to set up a blog where he asks for help, something that pains him deeply to do. He now receives donations from atheists and Christians alike.
And as often happens in such situations, fate has a way of having the final say. A Henderson County property manager suggested the Greenes move to Henderson where rent is cheaper. The local Wal-Mart would be within walking distance which would be helpful since the Greenes no longer own a car.
After getting to know some of the people who would be his neighbors, Patrick Greene and his wife decided to make the move.