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Courrier's Log- 7-1-84


  • Courier's Log- 10-1-84

    Sunday, pm

    Exhausted, but grateful for being alive and free. Should be a relatively minor hitch from here: hop a freight towards Portland, catch-up with friends, get some rest- sounds like a plan.

    Some vacation! Travelling up the coast highway from Central California the hard way. Now going on seven days and have only gotten to Roseburg, Oregon, hitchhiking, jumping freights and marching up the endless beaches and country roads. Itís not like the old days (Pre-Christian)- drugs and partying, wandering aimlessy up and down the coast- and the ole' bod complains too much. But opportunities for witnessing for Christ seem to abound. Must say, itís been a remarkable week.

    Was a tough experience getting stranded for two days north of Gold Beach, though the sight of the seals under the bridge swimming on their backs, eating their catches of salmon and slapping the seagulls away with the tails of the big fishes was mesmerizing. Could hear a pin drop until that old Chevy pickup came racing up the highway and screeched to a halt, leaving about twenty feet of rubber behind.

    Should have known better than to jump in the back of that truck, but desperation had clouded the Courier's judgement. The driver, Jim, shirtless and covered with elaborate tattoos and muscles, was so drunk it was all he could do to keep it on the road, passing a jug between himself and his fifteen year old nephew, Danny, riding shotgun. Jimís wife, Rosey, in the middle, hangs on for dear life, taking the occasional swig of raw courage from the jug.


    Was only a matter of about twenty minutes before the Highway Patrol, with great, patient effort pulled us over. (Thank God). Jim was so intoxicated and so foul-mouthed and resistant to the patrolman, he was arrested, and since your Courier had a driverís license, he was asked by the officer to take the truck, the wife, and the horribly drunk teenager home. Looking very much like the instant, respectable family man, at least for a spell, Courier relishes in the glory while it lasts. HaHa!

    They lived about thirty miles up into the thickly wooded, sparsely populated and breathtakingly beautiful mountains of Southern Oregon, their modular home perched atop a very high hill with an unpaved, muddy drive snaking haphazardly up to the puddled yard, strewn with older, busted vehicles.

    The truck sank to the doors in the gumbo-type mud about three-quarters of the way up the hill, becoming hopelessly stuck. Stepping out of the vehicle, your intrepid Courier sinks to his knees in a type of muck which seemed to pull one deeper and deeper down as he tried to move through it.

    Danny, by then, was so drunk he kept falling into the mess in uncontrollable laughter. Rosey, embarrassed by her circumstances and seeming helplessness, and mortified at Dannyís condition, was very grateful for the help. Her father, Peter, an ancient, very quiet, wrinkled man of Native American descent awaited us at the top of the hill, wearing coveralls and a highly dignified, wisened and gentle countenance. He immediately set about making preparations for getting the truck out of the mud.

    Once settled inside, with a pot of coffee, it didn't take long for the conversation to turn to the Christian faith, salvation and the Bible, predetermined as these things always seem to be. Danny had taken a keen interest in the subject, and, intoxicated as he was, became quite animated and even agitated at times.

    Danny, as it turns out, was visiting from Texas, where things were a bit rough for him, and where he had been involved with a group of religionists touting teachings of varying philosophical and pseudo-spiritual origins. His conversation was filled with references to the so-called Eck Masters, superstitions, Bible verses and conspiracy theories, while his view of churches and the historical belief in the Bible was suspicious, if not antagonistic and even violent at times.

    Rosey, who was generally quiet on the subject of her own faith, sat like a moderator saying she was convinced that this conversation was indeed the work of Divine Intervention, and gently pleaded with Danny to listen.

    It became evident early on that Danny was a uniquely troubled youth who had done some considerable seeking in these, his pre-adolescent years, but had been drawn into a confusing, eclectic mish-mash of New Age and psycho-spiritual ideas, of which he had suddenly assumed the role of lively exhorter and expositor.

    He basically dominated the discussion, cynically throwing accusations and obtuse challenges toward no-one in particular, or indirectly toward yours truly, reveling in his bullish pulpit. And while alcohol certainly played it's pathetic role here, there was no mistaking where Danny had been in his search for spiritual meaning and truth.

    He was answered with a plain reading of the scriptures and their simplest explanations, patiently, point by point. If memory serves correctly, the conversation, if it can be called that, eventually centered upon a verse-by-verse recounting of John 3.

    " For God sent not His Son into the word to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" John 3:17

    But with each response he slipped further and further into rage until, at one point, he actually plugged his ears and rolled his eyes up into his head, and, wagging his tongue, shook his head violently, groaning mournfully and grotesquely.

    He seemed to be no match for the clear rendering of the word of God.

    "And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" John 3:19

    Danny, by all appearances, was being tortured, and Rosey was intensely bemused.

    It was not that long, however, before the young man began to run low on ammunition, his discussion deteriorating to a random display of silly mockery, and then, suddenly, he became very quiet as the reading continued, perhaps and probably from John 5.

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

    Finally, when asked if he was ready to receive Jesus into his life as his personal Savior, he tearfully nodded, and clumsily repeated a slightly sobbing prayer, seeking forgiveness and the gift of eternal life, and affirming full belief in the cross and He who died there for his sins. Sobriety had set in.

    "I just knew it!" Rosey exclaims.

    Moments later, the house began to take on new life as relatives drove up in four-wheel-drives, kicking off their muddy boots on the porch: children of all ages, girls about my age, one aunt about eight months pregnant, uncles and even neighbors filled the place up. Food was put on the stove and firewood was stuffed into the fireplace.

    Jim had made bail and rode in with his brother-in-law. His truck was pulled out of the mud, and he went someplace to go to sleep.

    Rosey said that Danny, who had probably never drank before, was passed out in one of the bedrooms.

    After an interesting evening of friendly conversation, a game of Scrabble or two, and a late-night snack with a young couple intrigued by this enigmatic, Bible stranger in their midst, who did not drink and who turned down the opportunity to smoke some Columbian pot, the Courier grabs his gear and crashes out in the camper-shell of one of the trucks.

    The hawk bit and bit hard. It got down to about 22 degrees and the stars looked like illuminated tree ornaments. The din of yelping coyotes was periodically interrupted by the sound of Danny running out of the house to get sick in the bushes with a woeful groaning.

    Rosey's father, Peter, would quietly stroll by on occasion with a flashlight, like a vigilant, guardian angel. In the morning, he pointed to a milky-white batting of clouds slung low over a distant ridge and explained that there would be an early burn-off.

    Danny and Jim rise early to cordially drive me around the county, giving a tour of the countryside before depositing me here, north of Roseburg, at a park complete with picnic tables and brick ovens.

    Though humiliated and not feeling well, Danny brimmed with youthful vitality, and spoke with a soft, enthusiastic politeness. He assured me that he fully intended to pursue the faith and expressed a firm desire to learn the Bible.

    Jim, by his obvious, passive show of disinterest in such things, nevertheless conveyed an unspoken understanding for Danny's and very possibly for Rosey's sake.

    Can't help but ponder the circumstances of this young man's life, but experience has taught me about the LORD's ability to intervene and orchestrate life's events, using them to promote growth.

    So I pray...

    Courier's log 10-2-84

    Monday, PM

    Got impatient in Roseburg, and hiked a couple miles to this waiting Southern Pacific, which should get up to Salem by morning.

    Realize I could not do this for any continued length of time, those youthful days gone forever. Pretty tired, but never too tired to complain, nor to admit that this must be what it feels like to be one of the world's richest men. HaHa.

    Courier logging out.

    (True story, but greatly abridged. Actual names and dates not used)

    "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalms 23:6.

    • Diggindeeper
      Diggindeeper commented
      Editing a comment
      This is a great story and shows that God always has a messenger, though there may not be a stadium full of people.

      I think Danny will be fine...he had already been searching, but in all the wrong places. I'm reminded that one plants, another waters, but God gives the increase. Other couriers (messengers) will come along and help Danny to grow and perhaps do some more planting...

    • paidforinfull
      paidforinfull commented
      Editing a comment
      A wonderful testimony and a great read - well done!

    • Dani H
      Dani H commented
      Editing a comment
      I really need to stop by Articles more often. Such a gem. Thank you.
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