Did I just wake up? I thought I had moved to Colorado Springs and ministry with Covenant Church almost exactly three months ago. But has it only been a dream?

I was having these very thoughts on Thursday afternoon. I found myself in North Platte Nebraska. I was on my favorite walking path over the viaduct above the South Platte River. I was wearing my backpack over my shoulders. My buds were in my ears as I was listening to Robert B. Parker describe another Spenser adventure. Have I just woken from a dream?

Actually, it wasn’t sureal at all, and if it was a dream, it started out as a bad one. Driving east on Interstate 80, I blew out a tire. Boom! In the middle of a construction zone. My jack bent as I tried to change the tire. Semis were whizzing by me at 75 mph. My GPS stopped working in the middle of the Heartland and I barely had discernable cell service.

Then the near nightmare turned into a good dream indeed. The good people at USAA insurance figured out how to help me. The wreckers called right away and assured me of their help. A Good Samaritan stopped, told me I didn’t seem very mechanical, and merrily changed the tire. I called the wrecker back with many thanks, cancelled the service call. She assured me, that if I needed any help they were ready.

I drove 25 miles into North Platte, and went to the same tire shop that replaced my last blow-out. The young lady behind the desk too was, merry. She made me a deal on a set of new tires, and assured me I would be on my way ASAP. That’s when I went for my walk over the viaduct.

Within the hour, I was back on the road. I pulled into Kearney, Nebraska an hour and 15 minutes later. I commiserated with the another young lady. This one had a dead battery and was 90 minutes late getting to the Subway I was at getting a delicious Meatball sandwich. Then I spent the evening with a good friend, and other members of the Association of Presbyterian Adminstrators.

Don’t tell anyone, but we had a glass of wine, some good conversation, and I watched them do a little project.

I not only ran into one Good Samaritan, but a whole passle of them.

I went to my room, finished getting ready for the retreat I would lead with the Admistrators the next day, read a chapter of the book my mother-in-law lent me, and went to sleep. I don’t remember dreaming, but if I had, I would have dreamed about answering the question that prompted Jesus to tell the Good Samaritan parable. “Master who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29).

My neighbors, my brothers and sisters were quite unexpectedly a whole load of good people, right there in America’s Heartland. I thank them and I thank God.