By Charles Towne
From my early kid-hood I remember Ole.
Sometimes we meet somebody that impresses us so much we think “when I grow up I want to be just like him!”
Ole was not one of those people.
Ole was the brunt of everybody’s laughter, everybody’s ridicule, everybody’s disgust.
Why, you might ask, were people so quick to point a disparaging finger at our friend Ole? You might ask, so having asked, I will tell you.
Ole was the town drunk.
When I was a kid I don’t remember ever seeing him sober.
In my hometown there was a bar. Behind the bar were stored the “empties” – beer bottles that had been emptied by the tavern’s thirsty clientele – and there, when he was in need of a drink, could be found Ole, upending each bottle and sucking it dry for “just one more drop.”
Ole slept wherever he happened to be at the moment. He would curl up in a doorway, on the sidewalk, or, in the winter if the sheriff was feeling especially charitable, on a bunk in the local jail.
If any discerning soul had cared enough to give him a second thought, it was quite obvious that Ole was on a one way slippery slope to a place of no return.
And then it happened.
Ole, in a drunken stupor, fell asleep on the train tracks that ran through our small town.
Perhaps he was tired of all the ridicule. Maybe he was sick and tired of his own stench. Or he could have just been.. tired… of a life that was no life at all
It is so sad when people, people just like you and I, give up and surrender to what they see as the inevitable.
This ugly demon of a pandemic that is raging through our cities right now might appear to some to be unstoppable – an irresistible force meeting an immovable object – and we, or so it appears, are the immovable object.
Or are we?
This thing, this vile thing, this many-headed beast that is dragging its evil, slimy presence through our streets, is already conquered.
As Christians that care deeply about our nation and our fellow citizens in it, we have one thing we can do to move us forward. We can pray. And as we unite in cooperation and in prayer, we will lift our one voice to God, and look to him for the strength and spirit we need in this time. A spirit of dependence on Him. I believe as we do, we will see an end to this thing that was hatched, and be free once again.
Oh yes, Ole? We can’t leave him snoring there on the rail road tracks waiting for the train, his date with destiny, resigned to his own demise, can we?
Miraculously somebody found Ole lying there on the tracks in a drunken stupor and took him to a hospital in Aurora, Illinois.
What I haven’t told you is that at one time Ole, (not his real name) had been a doctor, and a very good doctor, I might add. He was married with a family when His wife and little girl were killed in an auto accident, and this is what drove him off the deep end and caused him to start drinking.
After such a tragedy, who is to blame him?
Dr. Ole, with care and love, dried out. He became a consultant for an insurance firm and lived a long and happy life, I might add, just like you and I are going to live when this episode, this pandemic, is past.
Bless you all. My prayer is that God will give you all much joy and love.
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.