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Pieter de Grebber, Elisha refuses the gifts of Naaman, 1637.

Perpetual shalom

Elisha’s gift to Naaman

I worked in a filling station for four years. One day I hurt my back working under the grease rack, and for a while my father, a rural pastor, regularly drove me 12 miles from our small town to another small town to see a chiropractor. Dr. Holt was an old-time jerk-and-twist chiropractor and a Missouri Synod Lutheran layman—what else could he have been in a Missouri town called Concordia? He usually charged $3 for an adjustment, but after every appointment my dad would say to him, “Well, Doc, what do I owe you?” and every time Dr. Holt would answer, “Just a dollar, Reverend.” My dad wanted to be fair, but he was poorly paid himself. So the two of them—the Missouri Synod Lutheran layman and the Evangelical and Reformed pastor—always did this delicate dance of payment.


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