Inspiration

By Charles Towne                        

We never know when our lives may impact others. People are watching us, listening to us.  Are we living examples of God’s love?

There is an unwritten law in the far north that folks help one another in time of difficulty.   Stranded in vehicles, people have died from exposure in the cold of an Alaskan winter, therefore when a stalled vehicle is spotted travelers usually go out of their way to render assistance.
My daughter Faith, and her husband Steve, who was working on the Alaskan pipeline at the time, along with another couple, had left Fairbanks, Alaska far behind and were on their way to Valdez to visit Faith’s Uncle, Milford Taylor whom she had never met.
Still several miles from Valdez they passed a red pick-up truck parked alongside the road with two men standing near it.  “We should stop, see if they need help!”  Steve suggested.  But the others vigorously protested.  After all, they didn’t know the men, and anything could happen way out there in the middle of nowhere.  Outvoted and overruled, Steve continued driving, until several miles further down the two-lane road their car inexplicably died leaving them stranded in the bitterly cold Alaskan winter.
The men worked under the hood with no luck, achieving little more than frostbitten fingers while the girls shivered in the cold car that seemed to grow colder by the minute. A half hour passed and then an hour.
The situation was looking desperate when hope was aroused… for faintly in the distance a vehicle could be heard! Perhaps help was on the way!

Much to the traveler’s embarrassment that same red pick-up truck they had so callously passed earlier drew near; slowed and stopped.   The two strangers insisted that the ladies sit in the warm cab of their truck while they worked on the stalled vehicle. Thanks to the good Samaritans it wasn’t long before the car was running again and they were on their way.
Steve drove in silence for a while before he said, “you know, it would have served us right if they hadn’t stopped.  I don’t believe I have ever seen a more obvious case of Christianity in action, and we didn’t even get their names. The next time I see a stalled vehicle I’m going to stop and offer my help.”

Arriving in Valdez they soon found the Taylor’s address and pulled into the drive where they sat in stunned silence.

There, parked in the driveway, was a red pick-up truck.  The very same red pick-up truck they had so callously passed earlier. Yes, the same red pick-up truck driven by the two men who had come to their rescue back on that cold stretch of Alaskan road.

At Faith’s somewhat tentative knock a man answered the door.  Yes, you guessed it; it was their Good Samaritan, Faith’s uncle, Milford Taylor.

Coincidence you say.  I wonder?

“And some have entertained angels unawares.”  Hebrews 13:2.

And, “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these… ye do unto me.”  Matthew 25:45.

Dear God, please mold me into a vessel that can be used for your purpose.  Please help me to be there for others.  Help me to reach out when there is a need. As much as I hate to admit it, I am, by my very nature selfish, therefore you must be present in every portion of my life, every day of my life, and in every situation of my life.  Over-rule the self-serving tendencies that have controlled me all my life.  How many times have I rejected an opportunity to help one of your children when it just wasn’t… well… convenient?  Help me to be like Jesus.  Help me so that when others look into my eyes, they don’t see me, but they see Jesus in me.  This is my prayer, and I ask it in the Blessed and Holy name of Jesus, Amen.


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Charles, this story is almost hard to believe. What a lesson learned for them and for all of us by way of your sharing. Thank you for all your contributions.

  2. More memories recalled! I was a youth when grandpa called the house one sabbath morning and said he needed to borrow me after church and I should bring old clothes. After church I went with grandpa and he informed me that we were going to cut up a bunch of firewood and deliver it to an eldery 80 something year old lady who lived alone on a farm and only had a wood burning stove for heat. I told grandpa it was the sabbath and we were not supposed to do any work and thats when grandpa
    taught me something beyond value! He said, ” she is an old lady that needs our help, we can’t do it tommorow because it was going to be below zero tonight! Then he reminded me that Jesus said that loving one another was the most important rule”!
    Often I am reminded of that because often, what we know we should do is influenced by what we think we know! I wonder how many opportunities are lost because of imagined fears! Why do we think just because we are older we don’t have a guardian angel anymore?

  3. Dear Kristin, If the truth were known each of us has stories that need to be told. I read someplace that if we would faithfully journal each day for two years, at the end of that two years we would have enough life experiences to write a book. It is a shame we don’t journal. How many adventures and mis-adventures to each of us live in a lifetime? I am so very pleased that you are pleased. God bless you. Chaz

  4. Richard my friend, all I can say is your grandpa was a very wise and generous man. I have an idea that your granddad lives on in you. It is so sad that the elderly aren’t valued today. And as concerning our gaurdian angels, well I even know my angel’s name, but I shouldn’t say that ’cause folks already think I am a tad strange. Thanks pal, Chaz

  5. Thanks, Chaz. Another thing I wanted to add about your writing is that I feel like I am actually in the story, like I have been transported there and am experiencing it myself. Very cool.

  6. You know Florence, miracles do really happen. So often it is the little things, a kind word, a smile, a thoughtful act, a “thank you!” when least expected. You are a blessed miracle my sister. God bless you and yours, Chaz

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