Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

April 7, 2019: The Fragrance of Life

From Ray McGinnis


Walter Carr graduated from George W. Carver High School in Birmingham, Alabama. He anticipated joining the U.S. Marines later in the year. However, he needed a summer job. Carr was hired for work at Bellhops Moving Company in Pelham, Alabama. He was enthusiastic about going to his first day of work. However, his car broke down the night before his first shift. Walter lived in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood. The Bellhops Moving Company office where he was hired was about 20 miles south in the outskirts of Pelham, Alabama.

There were no options for public transportation from Homewood to Pelham. So Carr chose to walk overnight from his home to his summer job. He badly needed the work and worried that if he didn’t show up on his first day on the job he could be fired. He walked over seven miles to the town of Hoover by 2 a.m. At 3 a.m. he was stopped by Pelham police officer Mark Knighten who asked Carr if everything was okay. By 4 a.m. when Carr had reached the outskirts of Pelham he was stopped again by officer Knighten and fellow officers Klint Rhodes and Carl Perkinson. They learned why Walter Carr was on the road. They checked out his story and treated him to breakfast at Whataburger. Then, the police dropped Carr off at Bellhops Moving Company’s front door at 6:30 a.m.


Jenny and Chris Lamey were already at work in the office in preparation for the movers. They were expecting Walter Carr to begin work on his first day, a “training day.”


Jenny Lamey posted on Facebook about the story. “We chatted while we were working together early yesterday morning. He loved my kitchen and said that it was exactly the kind of kitchen he would want. He was from New Orleans. He and his mother lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and they came and made their home in Birmingham,” she wrote. “I asked him if he was tired from all that walking, and he said replied that he wasn’t and that he had a four-hour nap before he left at midnight.”


Bellhops Moving CEO Luke Marklin learned about the story when he was tipped off about the Facebook post. He got in his car and drove down from Tennessee to meet Carr to thank him over a coffee. The meeting ended with the CEO giving Walter Carr the keys to his barely-driven 2014 Ford Escape.


“I am honestly blown away by him,” Marklin said of Carr. “Everything he did that day is exactly who we are – heart and grit. So far, he’s batting 1,000.” Carr was blown away himself when Marklin gave him the keys to the Ford Escape. “Seriously?” said Carr.


Explore…John 12:1–8

  • Why does Mary anoint Jesus with perfume? Why does Judas object? What is Jesus’ perspective?
  • What did Walter Carr do that impressed the Pelham Police, his workmate, Jenny Lamey and the CEO of Bellhops Moving?
  • Does the generosity Walter Carr received surprise you?
  • What acts of generosity have caught your attention? What would cause you to offer something to someone else that was costly for you?



God, you place in front of us others who we can be generous to. Help us to notice who is in front of us. Help us to be mindful and thankful of the gift of others who enter our lives. Startle us out of our habits and routines so that we may give praise for Christ in our midst. Amen.


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