Before moving to Asheville 12 years ago Gary and I resided in Monroe County in the Florida Keys. Everyone’s concept of sinning would be likely to include different things but our Asheville Bed and Breakfast declines to accept “Cesspool of Sin” designation proclaimed by Rep. Senator Jim Forrester in his discussion of Asheville.
To the minds of some declaring oneself a Christian, attending worship services and having enough familiarization with the good book to quote it signifies a ” righteous” person with a right attitude in harmony with God. I take a more ecumenical view than that. One Sunday while we were living in the Keys sometime around Christmas we were attending a local church. The minister, unbelievably enough was actually late for the service. At about 11:12 a.m. he straggles out to the podium and commences the start of this particular Sunday service with an interesting revelation. He profusely apologized for his delay and stated he’d started from home in plenty of time but that as he was driving toward the church on Overseas Highway (the only main road in town) he began passing bars. After passing the first several and noting the profusion of cars in the parking lot the wheels of his mind began turning. He said he felt compelled to stop at the next few bars he passed, go inside and wish the happiness of the holidays to the dwellers within and invite them to church. He continued in explanation that Jesus did not “hang out with” only scripture quoter’s & declared Christians. He frequented anywhere he could best offer his servants heart. He was often found helping outcasts and those society deemed unclean, unfit and ostracized.
So, to Asheville. One of the most impressive things I noted upon arrival was our sense of community and the very obvious dedication to social conscience and assisting those who have experienced a bad patch. There is also a firm dedication to assisting in recovery from drug abuse, alcoholism and domestic abuse. I am not one to offer blank checks to folks not trying at all to improve their own circumstances but anyone, particularly in these economic times, could have a temporary downturn. To anyone saying we shouldn’t be concerned about that and it’s not our problem I say….. Begin immediately praying that you never have a down day or that if you do- Others will be more mindful of your problems.
Asheville has its problems as does anywhere else. I am not painting, nor wishing to extol Asheville as Nirvana- but Asheville tries. They try in the very concrete terms described above and if it is true as Mother Teresa believed that
We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
― Mother Teresa
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast