The story behind the story: a true incident that sparked an idea for a scene in Almond Street Mission:
Almond Street Mission tells the story of Glorilyn Neilson whose younger brother, Tannon, has gone missing, hurling her entire family into turmoil. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter fills the empty, lonely hours. One evening, she’s attacked by a brawny vagrant intent on rape. Another vagrant, Jeremiah Goodman, defends her.
The mission director offers Jeremiah and young nineteen-year-old, Tank, a place at the shelter. But when Jeremiah later protects another vagrant in hopes of sharing the gospel, the director finds heroin on Jeremiah, and he’s booted out. Tank leaves with him.
On the street, Jeremiah and Tank try to scrape up a meal, but trash cans around the city park don’t provide food for their hungry stomachs. Taking a chance on getting arrested, they beg for something to eat in front of an elegant downtown Italian restaurant. Two older women walk out. One ignores them but the other looks at them with kind eyes and offers an entire pizza.
The scene is inspired by real life. My daughter and I were in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at an Italian restaurant. We each ordered a small pizza, but the waiter brought me a Hawaiian pie though I’d order pepperoni.
When I pointed out the mistake, the server gave me another, this time pepperoni, and told me to keep the first one. No way I could eat a second pizza, and we didn’t want to take it to the hotel, so I asked if he knew who could use it. He said the homeless congregate nearby, and he’d deliver it to a hungry person.
In the story, the other woman who gives the extra pizza to Jeremiah and Tank is above average height. That’s me, and my 5’10” height qualifies as tall! When Tank says “God bless you,” the lady says “He does, everyday.” The sentiments of my heart.
Where to find Almond Street Mission: Amazon