This is a great story.  A Henderson County atheist who went to court to get a nativity scene removed from the County Courthouse has fallen on hard financial times because of bad health.  Care to guess who is stepping up to help him?  The Christian community, of course.

Patrick Greene says he couldn't believe it when some church people came to him offering to help him with his medical bills and other expenses. He says he was flabbergasted because other Christians have always treated him like dirt because of his atheist beliefs, and most recently, his public efforts to get the courthouse nativity scene taken down.

Greene dropped his lawsuit when his doctor told him he could lose the sight of one eye because of a detached retina.  He didn't want to pursue a lawsuit with limited vision. That's when Jessica Crye heard about him.

“I knew of his lawsuit and threats, and thought how sad it was for him to be so bitter toward Christians,” Crye said. “I thought he must have never felt the love of God through Christians. I also thought about how scary that must be.”

Learning of Greene's plight with his vision, Ms. Crye organized a drive to raise money for Greene and his family.  She says "This is a great opportunity to turn the other cheek and show God's love.”

Crye says the fund raising gained momentum when her pastor got involved.  Donations came in from churches and individuals all over Henderson County, and they're still coming in.

For his part, Greene says he really appreciates what people are doing, but it's done nothing to change his mind about being atheist. He's still a non-believer.

Just the same, Greene noticed that the Henderson County Courthouse nativity scene didn't have an electrical star overhead.  So he bought a star and had it installed at the courthouse.

via Christians Raise Funds For Ill Atheist Protester.

This story brings to mind a famous poem by Charles Edwin Markham.

"He drew a circle that shut me out.  Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But love and I had the wit to win.  We drew a circle that took him in."