The Gideons Are Everywhere
My Car Overheated in the Middle of Nowhere
Five Star Hotels or Mom & Pop Bed and Breakfasts
I haven't traveled all that much. However, I have run the "travel gamut", from the five star hotels right on down through the "mom and pop bed and breakfasts". I have traveled throughout the continental United States and our beautiful state of Hawaii to the Islands of Maui, Kuai and Kona. Once I check in and get settled, I always feel compelled to open the drawer of the nightstand just to see, to make sure that it's there. And sure enough, the Gideon Bible is always there in the nightstand drawer! Without fail, it is there.
This past week, I set out on what I called a "self discovery road trip". I was traveling on my own and headed from Phoenix, Arizona to Las Vegas for a short visit with family and friends and then on my way to Salt Lake City to see two of my sons and my grandchildren. It was the first time in a long time that I was traveling by myself. However, as fate would have it, my car broke down only 100 miles or so outside of Phoenix. Even before I started mulling over the Gideon Bible issue, a real, true to life angel, stopped to help me. My car overheated on a major freeway where trucks and traffic were passing by at speeds of at least 80 mph where I had stopped and popped the hood to take a look at the engine. If you are like me, I had no idea what I was looking at or for. I just knew that my engine had overheated and that I had to pull over or risk doing irrepairable damage to my car. An Arizona Highway Patrol Officer stopped, looked at my engine and could not see any broken hoses. He said to just wait awhile until the engine cooled down and then try again. I waited about 30 minutes and started off again. After only two miles the engine overheated again. I pulled off the freeway this time to a side road. Again, not knowing where exactly I was or what to do, I started praying, popped the hood and called my husband back in Phoenix. That is when my angel appeared. A truck slowed down on the other side of the road and then turned around and came back and parked behind me. Thank the Lord. The man behind the wheel had two young boys, approximately nine years old with him. That made me feel somewhat safe. As a woman alone, you have to think ahead about these things even when you are desperate for help. He took a look at my car and offered to take me up the road to the next exit where we could call a tow truck. He could see my hesitation so he pulled a badge out of his wallet. He was a "Detective" with the "Yavapaii Nation". He also had been with the highway patrol for 20+ years. I decided that all was good so I got my suitcases and threw them into the back of his truck and off we went. He knew exactly where my car had broken down, the mile post, the exit and all the information for the tow truck driver. He then advised me on several mechanics in the area. A true angel who told me when his son questioned why he was stopping and then turning around he said, "if it was your mother or sister" wouldn't you want someone to stop and help her"? He told me he wanted to show his son a "true act of random kindness"! Wow!
Remember, I had broken down in a small town, or even smaller, a truck stop called "Camp Verde", a "twilight zone" kind of town where nothing is open on the weekends. I would have to wait until Monday to have my car fixed by anyone! So much for my vacation!!
My angel, after calling the tow truck, dropped my off at the "Comfort Inn" where I met more incredibly nice people. So, I proceeded to check in. With not much to unpack, I sat on the bed with nothing to do. That's when I did what I always do. I check the drawer in the nightstand just to make sure it was there. Sure enough, the Gideon Bible was once again and as always, in the drawer. Even in Campe Verde you can count on those Gideons. But how do they get there? Do the Gideon's come marching in with boxes and each take a floor of the hotel? Do they secretly come in with Bibles under their long black robes? These were just a few of the things I thought about as I sat on the bed looking for some of my favorite scriptures. Do the Gideon's know when a bible from one of the drawers goes missing? It's a mystery. I also wondered, if a room sleeps four or six, why is there always only one bible? Do the Gideon's want us to share or do they think it will bring us closer together is we read together? My biggest question is do they want us to take the Bible with us when we go? Or would that be stealing? And, stealing a Bible couldn't be good.
So, after getting home, I decided to do a little research of my own on the Gideons. Did you know that the Gideons are not a religion and they are not a church. Their sole mission in life is to put Bible's in hotel rooms. They just quietly put them in the drawer and move on. I am still not sure, almost like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, how they can be everywhere at once. If you have found a room anywhere without a Bible please comment on this post. I would be curious to know where it was. God Bless the Gideons and keep up the good works.