Thursday, July 06, 2006

Old Conyers

We call it Old Conyers. This expression is not referring to Olde Town Conyers, the historic district found in the center of our city limits. Old Conyers, instead, refers to the way life was before.

Old Conyers actually creates a secret grid over the city. Even though Evans Pharmacy thrives each morning with filled prescriptions and warm cups of coffee, Old Conyers calls it Beasley’s. We don’t mean to do it; Vince Evans is doing a great job. This is in no way a derogatory term. Instead, Beasley’s was the name of the drug store in his location for so many years. The old name just falls right off our tongue. When my brother has a bad day and needs a surprise, our entire family knows to go to Beasley’s and get Chris a Lemon Sour. Good thing they still serve those at Evan’s.

On another note, we are thrilled to house Georgia Perimeter College here in Conyers. My dear friend is an English Professor there, and she keeps me posted on the academic progress happening. The only problem is that I am Old Conyers. In my mind, that building on West Avenue is the Liquidation Mart. Before the days of T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, Liquidation Mart was our only option for discount clothing. We went there in the summer to buy shoes, and they never had a working air conditioner. Just looking over at the building when I drive by makes me feel hot.

Old Conyers exists for so many of us. Whistle Post Tavern? That’s the Feed & Seed for Old Conyers. Crusade Dominion Church? Old Conyers calls that the new movies. Warehouse Music could be called Blockbuster Music, but most original Old Conyers speakers would refer to it as Turtle’s. Billy Bob’s is really Duvall’s, and the Piggly Wiggly is Thriftown. Or Big Star. It depends on who is reporting.

How can we change with change?

In the Scriptures, change usually symbolizes growth and new life. Jesus told us that He would bring “new wineskins.” This meant that He would not try to force Himself and His Church into old patterns and habits. The transformation was part of His plan.

God actually changed people names as a symbol of their inner transformation. Abram became Abraham as he stepped out on the mission God presenting him. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter when Jesus prophesized that Peter would be the Rock on which the Church would be build. Saul transformed into Paul as his conversion.

My mother always tells “the only thing no one can argue with is a changed life.” Who can dispute that something significant has happened when they witness a life transformed?

When Jesus stopped to get a drink of water in the heat of the day, he came across a woman from the wrong side of town. She could not believe that He spoke to her.

He told her that day that He could offer water that was living. She would not have to thirst anymore. Jesus, then, looked directly into her soul. He questioned her about the men in her life. Through that conversation, the woman at the well recognized Jesus as the Son of God that day.

John 4:30 reports what that woman told everyone when she returned to her town. "Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?" And they went out to see for themselves.

Jesus changes hearts and lives. Can we support them and even call them by their new name when it happens?


Blogger mary balicki said...

Caroline - HOW WONDERFUL!!! I loved this post. I too, a member of "old conyers" and remember the days of Liquidation Mart and buying "chic" jeans there as child in size 7 slim. :) Not many people know of Liquidation Mart and yes, it makes me hot to think of, too. You're such a gifted writer - looking forward to laughing with you next month at the wedding!
Love you Big (as Tara Roberts Banks would say)!

8:07 AM  

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