Parable Road #1

Kelvin Bueckert
7 min readMay 22, 2024


An old woman sits on a bench at the edge of the sidewalk.

She isn’t rich, that much is plain. She wears a plain-looking jacket, and pants of a sort. A red kerchief rests upon her head of graying hair.

Her frail shoulders are trembling…and as I walk closer, I can see the moisture of tears splattered upon her wrinkled face.

“What’s wrong?”

She jerks her head toward me. “Oh, you startled me.”

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help but notice that you seemed to be in trouble.”

“Oh, what made you think that?”

“You look like you’ve been crying.”

“Yes…yes, I suppose so.” She sighs. “It’s my daughter.”

“What about her?”

“She won’t let my grandchildren come over to visit.”

“Really?” I say as I take a seat beside her.

“This past Christmas she invited my other daughter and her husband to celebrate with her but she made it clear that I wasn’t welcome.”


“And, this past Mother’s Day, she refused to acknowledge that I even existed.” The tears started to flow again. “Is it too much to ask to see my grandchildren?”

“Did she say why she doesn’t want you there?”

“No. I’ve tried to talk to her about it but she refuses to speak to me.”

“Hm. What’s the name of your daughter?”

“The one that won’t speak to me?”


“Oh….She wouldn’t speak to someone like you.”

“Well, I don’t have to head out for a while yet, and I don’t have anything else to do, so why don’t I try?”

“Go ahead but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Their names are Nadine and Paul.”

I stand. “Alright. Where can I find them?”

“Just to that Church. You’ll find them.”

“That little white one over there?”

“Yes, it’s Sunday morning, so they’ll be there. They always are.”

“Alright, I’ll see what I can do.”

I start walking toward the building in question. The sun is shining. The air is pure. It almost feels like I’m in the country even though I’m in the middle of the city.

It feels good.

The phone in my pocket starts to vibrate. It’ll be the dispatcher calling about my next load out of town.

That’s the life of a truck driver.

I better hurry if I want to get this mission done.


The sound of raging punk rock music grows ever louder.

What’s going on?

I scan the area, searching for the source of the noise. I see a young woman with purple hair cleaning up garbage near some bushes in the ditch.

She’s dressed like someone who has sorted through the bargain bin at a thrift store and picked out the cheapest things she could find.

A true punk, rebelling against a materialistic society.

“Good morning,” I say.

“Oh hello,” she says as she yanks a pair of earbuds from her head.

“What are you doing?”

“Not much.” She laughs. “Just cleaning up the mess from the party the neighbors had out here last night.”

“By yourself?”

“Do you see anyone else around here?”

“No…no…I just thought maybe someone from that Church over there might help.”

“Them?” She laughs again. “They wouldn’t help someone like me.”

“Oh. Why not?”

“For one thing, I’m a single mother…for another, you can see the person I am, I’m not really their type.”

“Well, that’s a lot of work for one person.”

“Don’t worry about me.” She smiles. “I’m used to working alone. My boyfriend didn’t think I was his type either, so, he left.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Don’t be sorry, I’m better off without him.”

“Well, let me ask you this…Can I help you?”

“No, no, I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Sure, I’m sure,” she smiles again. “Go ahead and do whatever you were going to do. I’ll be okay.”

Strike one.

“Alright, have a good day,” I say as I move toward the little white church glowing in the yellow sun.

My dispatcher said my load wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours. So, I have a little bit of time. Who knows, maybe I can do some good before I head out.

I hope so.


Nadine and Paul look like a young couple straight out of seminary.

They have learned all the words of righteousness that there are to learn.

It isn’t that they look much different than anyone else. They wear the casual dress pants and shirts that any young professional would wear.

As I sit in the front row of the Church where they preach, I can sense that they are sincere. They are a bit awkward but they believe what they are saying.

“So, in summary, God is love, and we as his people should be known for doing the same things as our Father,” Paul proclaims with a million-dollar smile.

“Amen,” Nadine agrees. “Let’s turn to page 136 in our hymn books.”

With that, a hymn starts to play on the organ, and the congregation rises as one and begins to sing a good old song of the faith.

After the service, I weave through a crowd of chattering people to the pastor couple and introduce myself.

“I’m glad you could join us this morning,” Paul says. “I’d love to stay and visit. But, I do have a meeting, so if you’ll excuse me, I…”

“Um, I met your mother earlier.”

“Who?” The couple look at each other as if they are confused.

“Your mother,” I say.

“Oh her.” There is an awkward pause. “How was she?” Nadine mutters as she turns away from my gaze.

“Well, to be honest, she was pretty upset. She’s missing her grandchildren.”

Paul looks worried. “Nadine, I’ve really gotta go. The deacons will be waiting.”

“Of course dear, I’ll join you shortly.”

“I know it’s not my place,” I begin.

“You’re right, it isn’t,” Nadine snaps.

“Still, I think you should go over and speak to her.”

Nadine glances at her watch. “I’m sorry Ben, it’s just that, well, you know how ministry is…”

“No, I don’t.”

“Hm. I suppose you wouldn’t.”

“How is it? Ministry I mean.”

“It’s just go, go, go. Meetings, fellowship lunches, worship services, kids…it never ends. We just don’t have time for trivial things.”

“I wouldn’t say that your mother is a trivial thing.”

“Ben, Ben, I know you mean well, but, unlike you, we have been trained for ministry and…”

“I’m sorry for intruding, I just thought…”

“You thought wrong. My family is none of your business. Now, I need to join my husband. So, I’m afraid this will have to be goodbye.” On that note, Nadine strides off with a determined purpose.

Strike two.

What am I supposed to do now?

I had promised that old woman that I would help her.

I wander around the Church building for a moment. It is filled with clusters of people chattering in their cliques. Most of them shy away as I approach.

I guess they’ve never seen a truck driver before.

Maybe it’s my floppy hat, maybe it’s my rough work clothes, maybe it’s my smile with gaps in it. Whatever it is, I feel like I don’t fit in here.

The good news that people are missing is that we truck drivers are only half as bad as we look.

Finally, I give up on my search for fellowship and head back into the great outdoors.

As I walk through the parking lot full of cars the faint sound of punk rock music serenades me. As I ponder all that has happened, an idea occurs to me.

Maybe…just maybe…I can be of help.

Will it be strike three?


The old woman sits on the bench where I left her.

I walk over, full of apprehension. Will this work?

“Hello again,” I say.

“Let me guess, they didn’t listen to you either.”

“No, they didn’t.”

“Big surprise. They don’t have time for common folks like us.”

“Just a minute.” I take a breath.“Um, I’d like you to meet someone.”

“Oh, who?”

“Stephanie, this is…“I pause. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name. “

“Margaret Poole,” the old woman offers.

“Stephanie Hillman, this is Margaret Poole.”

Stephanie seats herself beside the old woman in question.

“We’re going to be good friends, you and I, ” she says.

“What do you mean?” Margaret looks afraid for a moment. “We just met.”

“Sure, I’m sure. We have a lot in common.”

“Really?” Margaret still looks doubtful.

“Of course,” Stephanie smiles. “We’ve both been rejected. We’re both alone. You need me and I need you. We’re a perfect match.”

The phone in my pocket vibrates again. It’ll be a text from dispatch. That means my load is ready.

“Well, it was nice to meet you ladies, but I have to head out.”

“So soon?” Margaret looks up at me with sad blue eyes.

“Yep. That’s how it goes in the life of a trucker,” I say.

“I’ve been praying for someone like you to come along,” Margaret pauses as she examines me. “Are you an angel?

I laugh. “Trust me, I’m no angel. Anyone can do what I just did.”

“Well, thank you, but you never told us your name,” Stephanie says as a curious look crosses her soft round face.

“My name?”

“Yeah, that’s what I said.”

“My name is Benjamin Brown,” I stop for a moment. “Who knows, maybe our paths will cross again one day.”

As I walk back to the truck stop where my rig is parked I ponder what I have just experienced. I haven’t managed to change the circumstances of these two women. But, somehow, I know that their lives will be better from now on.

A burden is lighter when it is shared.

I hate to leave them…but I look forward to heading out on the open road again.

There’s nothing quite like it.

And, you know, I have a feeling there’s a lot more adventures like this to come.

To be continued…



Kelvin Bueckert

Lives and writes on the plains of Manitoba, Canada…he is an actor, writer, and has also been known to peddle books on his website…