View Full Version : Interstate 64, Morehead Kentucky

04-01-2013, 07:08 AM
I was driving back to Pittsburgh from Knoxville, Tennessee where I had spent the weekend visiting my girls. Since I had moved to Pennsylvania, I only saw them on my monthly sojourns south. It broke my heart to leave them, every time. My regular route took me up Interstate 75 almost to Lexington, Kentucky, where I picked up I64 east into West Virginia, and thence north. On this particular afternoon it was sunny and not much traffic out; I daydreamed a little as I approached Morehead in the eastern Appalachian region of Kentucky. It is hilly, rural country with few towns, and long empty stretches of nothing but forest.
I noticed out of the corner of my eye that someone on the opposite side of the highway was attempting to flag down help by waving a jacket. In something less than a second I ran an entire set of assumptions and possible scenarios through my head before deciding that I really should make a u-turn across the median, on that little strip of asphalt clearly marked with a sign that read “For Emergency Vehicles Only”.

Once I was started in the other direction, I drove about a mile to finally pull up behind a disabled car, whose driver had stopped waving at my approach. A lean, youngish looking man in jeans came to my open window and introduced himself as Derek. He was on his way to Louisville, and had run out of gas, he explained. I unlocked the passenger door, and offered to take him to the nearest gas station. He climbed in.

We got acquainted on the way there; he told me about his wife and children who had gone to Louisville ahead of him, while he took care of some business he had to wrap up in Pittsburgh. He mentioned being in some kind of trouble, but that now he was trying to get a fresh start in a new place. He had become a Christian, and he was trusting God that everything would work out like it should. He had started the trip with what he thought was enough money to get him there, but now he was broke. I asked him when the last time was he had eaten. “Yesterday,” he told me.
About five miles up the road we found a convenience store and gas station. We got some gas in a jug, to take with us, and I bought Derek hot dogs and a drink. While he was eating, I mentioned that I lived in Pittsburgh myself, and asked “What neighborhood of Pittsburgh do you live in”? “East Liberty,” he replied. “That’s where I live,” I said, and explained that I lived in the student apartments of the seminary where I went to school, across from Peabody High School. “Do you know where that tall building is that has Penn Avenue running right through the bottom of it?” he asked. I nodded affirmation. “That’s where I lived,” he said.

We retrieved Derek’s car from the roadside and filled up at the same gas station. The whole time Derek tried to get my address so he could pay me back. I assured him that the only thing I wanted was for him to help someone else, sometime. He agreed to the bargain. We shook hands, wished each other a good journey, and offered to pray for each other. I got in my car, crossed the overpass, and turned east again, toward West Virginia and eventually Pittsburgh and home. I pondered the coincidence of how two people who lived only blocks from each other might meet on the side of the highway three hundred miles away. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that there really are no coincidences.

(first published in the newsletter of Grace@Calvary Lutheran Church)

04-03-2013, 08:23 AM
Thank you for being the hand of Christ and for listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

Charlie Two Tracks
04-04-2013, 06:38 AM
I can't say anything better than Olevern said. You made a big difference in that persons life.

04-05-2013, 07:02 AM
Thanks, Charlie and Olvern. God is working even if we don't know it.