Hahn: A funny thing happened on the way home

Published 12:07 pm Friday, May 17, 2019

grew up on the south end of Lexington in the 1970s. It was a great place (and time) to sink my teeth into the flavorful fruit of childhood, youth and then the teen years.

There were always friends a few doors down and typically a pick-up basketball, football or wiffleball game was in the mix.

If it was too cold or rainy, we camped out in someone’s living room watching reruns of “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Addams Family,” hoping their mom would bring in some glasses of Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch.

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Best of all were the sunny spring, summer and fall afternoons spent riding bicycles and trying to jump our homemade BMX bikes the furthest off of a custom-made ramp (aka three scrap 2-by-4s and a concrete block).

The pick-up games and bicycles got pushed to the back burner when we turned 16. At that point life revolved around jobs, saving for a car and, just maybe, a date on Friday night.

Those years were filled with a wonderful variety of experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything and for which I’m grateful.

But, recently, my mom reminded me of something that was conspicuously missing.

Actually, we never really missed it because we never really expected to see such a thing, at least not in the city.

Last week, my mom was driving home from the grocery (Mom and Dad still live in the same home and neighborhood), and as she drove down Lansdowne Drive, a busy thoroughfare running through two subdivisions and hundreds of houses, she spotted a turkey poking around on the median strip between the two lanes of traffic. Growing up we never saw a turkey. Never. Well, except for on the Thanksgiving table and it wasn’t, you know, moving.

For years I rode my bicycle up and down Lansdowne Drive, mowed yards on Lansdowne Drive, had a Lexington Leader paper route that ran through several streets that intersected Lansdowne Drive and walked to school for six years on Lansdowne Drive but I never once saw a turkey. Never.

There were plenty of neighborhood dogs and cats, birds and spiders and even an occasional snake. A few kids had fish or a pet hamster or chameleon. But we never saw a turkey.

Mom was surprised and dumbfounded as she told the story of the turkey to my father, my sisters and me. We couldn’t believe it. In almost 50 years none of us have ever seen a turkey in or around the neighborhood.

We all believe Mom really saw a turkey. Though she’s been in the city for decades, she grew up on a farm and she knows a turkey, chicken, pig or cow when she sees one.

I guess there’s a first time for everything and it got me to thinking: just because you may never have experienced something doesn’t mean it isn’t real or it doesn’t exist or you never will experience it.

Lots of things in the Bible are that way. I’ve never seen a body of water part or a dead person come back to life. I’ve never seen an axe head float or water become wine or a man walk on water or a staff turn into a snake.

But the turkey on Lansdowne Drive last week bolsters my belief such things really happened.

C.S. Lewis said, “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”

At this point in life I see turkeys quite a bit. There’s a flock that roam all over Old Boonesboro Road and sometimes they hang out in the yard at Christview Christian Church. Sometimes they’re poking around our church lot on Sunday morning when I arrive to preach.

I hope the turkeys are there this Sunday so I’ll be reminded unbelievable things happened, some of which I’ll experience in another place and time.

It’ll be hard not to ask them, “Were any of you in Lexington last week?”

Forrest Hahn is pastor of Christview Christian Church in Winchester. He can be reached at forresth3@yahoo.com.