When a religion is lived well, it can manifest beautifully. A genuine devotee extends their care to all, including to followers of other traditions.
Malik Waliyani arrived at his store last week to find the registers damaged, items stolen and an undetermined amount of cash gone. Waliyani, who bought the gas station and convenience store three months ago, was devastated.
The Rev. Chris George, pastor of Smoke Rise Baptist Church, talks with Malik Waliyani.
Then help arrived from an unexpected source.
A member of nearby Smoke Rise Baptist Church heard about the burglary on social media and rallied others in the congregation.
So, after services on Sunday, dozens of members arrived by van, truck and car at the TruBuy BP station on Lilburn-Stone Mountain Road.They filled up their tanks. They bought candy, soda and chips. One woman bought a candy bar then pushed her change back across the counter.
“Amazing,” said Waliyani, an Ismaili Muslim who was born in India but has lived in Georgia for about a dozen years. “I couldn’t believe that I would be accepted so greatly by the neighbors and the community around me. They stood by me in my difficult time, and it gives me hope to rise again.”