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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Posted by Warren

(Originally posted on "Longrange" for Christmas 2004)

4:00 am 12/24/04

There was a knock on my front door which startled me awake. My dogs were barking which required my dire threats to quieten them as I answered the door.

Maybe you have heard of our weather and the unusually cold temperatures and large amount of snow that has fallen in the last 24 hours. I live just south of Interstate 64 in Southern Indiana and you may have seen the news about the closed Interstate and stranded motorists on the national news.

A man in his early fifties, about my own age, stood at the door. He was wearing tennis shoes, jeans, a field jacket and sock hat. His glasses were frosted and his pale white hands and reddened knuckles gave witness that he wore no gloves.

He told me he was lost and asked for directions to a certain address. I told him that he missed his mark by a mile and a half and asked him where his car was. He said he was walking.

I invited him in and sat a chair for him by the warm air from the furnace vent. He was shivering uncontrollably and a faint whiff of alcohol was on his breath. I asked if I could fix him something to eat but he refused and accepted a hot cup of coffee.

My wife talked to him as he warmed himself and I could hear him speaking as I prepared his fresh coffee.

My son heard his voice and came into the living room to sit and listen, and to watch, just in case.

His story unfolded.

He was homeless, he had been sleeping in a box, under a bridge over the Ohio river, several miles to the West. He had decided that it was too cold and he might freeze to death if he didn't find safe shelter with more than a cardboard box to keep him warm. About midnight, he had left his meager possessions and headed for his sisters home, a mile or so from my own home. He had walked past in the blowing snow and the dark but continued walking. He was lost, confused and probably somewhat drunk. Hypothermia can add confusion to even the sober mind.

As he spoke, I realized that he had mental problems as do many of the homeless.

There are places that provide refuge for the indigent, I'm sure he knew, but they don't accept anyone who is intoxicated, which I'm also sure he knew.

He drank his coffee then asked me if I would drive him to his sisters home. He then offered me two dollars. Of course I refused the money but offered to take him where he wanted to go.

I intended to take measures to see after him and he seemed anxious to leave.

As I drove, he told me that his sister was out of town but he had permission to use her house in an emergency. I was worried that he was just lying for reasons of his own but I was determined to see the thing through, even if I had to call the police to ensure his well-being through this cold weather.

As we drove up to the house, there was a porch light on and smoke coming from the chimney vent. Even so, it was apparent that there was no one home, the snow around the house was undisturbed.

I asked him if he was sure he could get in, he said, "Yes, she (his sister) told me where the key is." He reached out his hand, as if for a hand shake, and when I offered mine, pulled my hand to his lips and kissed it saying, "God bless you".

I was profoundly embarrassed but stayed long enough to see him dig around in the snow and find a key, unlock the door and wave goodbye.

I drove home, my thoughts disturbed, by the events that had taken place.

My wife was relieved as I returned and I started preparing food (very early,) for Christmas Eve. As I cut up fruit for salad and prepared the turkey for baking, my son came up behind me, hugged me and kissing my head, said, "Dad, you did a good thing."

Again, I was embarrassed, not by my son's hug and kiss but by his praise.

It was the right thing to do.

My son told me that he tries to help the homeless ones that hang around his place of employment. We spoke of how little we can actually do for them and I was proud of my son for being a good man and doing the right thing.

As I continued to prepare food for Christmas Eve, my thoughts drifted to a couple seeking shelter in Bethlehem and the birth of the Lamb of the New Covenant, and I felt God's Peace.

May God's Peace and blessings be with you all!
Merry Christmas.


Post Note:

First, please watch "Mary, Did You Know?" as performed by the Pentatonix, an a capella group. I hope that you love it as much as I do:


Fourteen years have passed since I first posted this and I am always asked to brush the cobwebs off and re-post it for Christmas. I change the post note every year to reflect my personal feelings.

"Mary, Did You Know?" by the Pentatonix has became my favorite Christmas Carol. If you haven't listened to it already, I urge you to put on your headphones or good speakers and have a listen. Maybe below you could tell me your favorite Carol.
I'll spend Christmas Eve at my son's home.

Mr & Mrs Aow are my best and closest friends, and it's a shame I can't spend some Christmas time with them in person.

Once again,
Merry Christmas!

If you wish to contact me by Email, you may do so at longrang(at)google.com; it will be forwarded to me.


  1. Merry Christmas, Warren.

    Since I first read this account way back in 2005, when I started blogging, it hasn't been Christmas without reading your personal story of your Christmas visitor.

    I didn't know you back in 2005 -- other than as a somewhat distant and mysterious fellow blogger who was a hard-nosed libertarian. This account of your extending help to a homeless man in the spirit of Christmas gave me a first peek into the kind of person you are.

    Over the years, I've come to know you personally face-to-face and know you to be the decent, generous, and multi-faceted person you are (instead of being the off-putting Axeman, your avatar).

    I won't embarrass you by listing your many wonderful character traits. Praise embarrasses you, I know.

    How I wish that we were not 731 miles apart!

  2. ★ Merry ★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★ Christmas 。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______ /~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year
    * Joy to all! ♫•*¨* Peace on Earth ♪♫•*¨*

    1. I love that artful "Typo-Graphic!"

      However did you do it?

    2. Franco,
      I found it a few years ago at a fellow blogger’s site — and copied it for use at this time of year.

  3. A very heartwarming story, Warren. Thank you for recounting it for us today. John Kennedy once said that the character of a nation is revealed by the manner in which it remembers its veterans. I think we ought to add to this the way in which we care for our homeless - which in many cases includes veterans. We don’t seem to be doing very well in either case. In my mind, it is not so much in the number of government programs but in the effort we, as citizens, reach out to help someone in distress. Something for each of us to think about. May God bless you and others who care enough to make a difference; for reaching out. Your musical selection is one of my favorites. I was first introduced to it by our friend Z who sings it beautifully.

    Merry Christmas to all and a happy and healthful new year.

    1. Merry Christmas, Mustang. Your friendship is something which I greatly value.

  4. A Blessed Christmas to Warren and Mr. and Mrs. AOW.

  5. A very touching if sobering Christmas story, Warren.

    In many ways it reminds me of Robert Frost's famous poem The Death of the Hired Man.

    Thank you for being a good Samaritan and acting so decently when most would probably have pretended not to notice the poor fellow.

    I'd like to think his story ended happily with his sister offering to let him stay with her permanently, but as you said, it's very hard to help the homeless even with the best of intentions. I've often heard that many of them prefer to live on the streets crazy as that may sound.

    I don't suppose we'll ever know what eventually became of him, but I hop his story ended well.


  6. That's an impressive arangememnt of Mary, Did You Know, Warren.

    Did YOU know that our longtime blogging friend, Z, made a beautiful recording of this song, herself, several years ago?

    Maybe, if we ask her nicely, she might give us a link to that recording? I remember it was very lovely.


    __ The Holy Enfant __

    Born in a manger
    ___ a low start in life
    Given to see
    ___ that no one is alone
    Ill-fated child
    ___ destined only for Grief
    The Star disappeared
    ___ Herod killed not the One

    But hundreds of others
    ___ God saved Him for us.
    He was to show us
    ___ that we could be saved
    Be happy and free
    ___ from all animus.
    But we work to kill Him
    ___ we are so depraved

    God loves us. ’Tis we
    __ are the ones who destroy.
    Each trust betrayed
    ___ each gift that is spurned
    Is a stab in the heart
    ___ of an Innocent Boy
    But, we’ll all feel the agony
    ___ all we have learned:

    He suffered the Cross
    ___ to bring height to our goals
    ______ light to our minds
    _________ and flight to our souls.

    ~ FreeThinke

  8. Worth reading:

    Remember when Jesus' Hands Were Small. Excerpt:

    ...What was it like for Jesus, whose experience from all eternity was a perfect love relationship with the Father and the Spirit, comes down to earth, is born to poor parents under a cloud of illegitimacy (he must’ve been harassed about his mother being pregnant outside of wedlock his entire life), as well as being cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, betrayed, abandoned, lonely, and, ultimately, experiencing the wrath of his Father from whom, prior to that, he had only known love?

    Why would Jesus do this in the first place? Why would God, the all-powerful creator, come in the form of a baby, utterly dependent, crying when he was hungry, wet, or his tummy hurt? For only one reason: because he is a just Judge, and crimes (our crimes against him) must be paid for one way or another....

    1. I read every word, but felt almost exactly as this person Cbkitys who commented did:

      Cbkitys [emended and extended by Franco]

      I'm sorry but humanity did not commit any crimes. When a child disobeys a parent you don't call it a crime. Jesus came to rescue us from the consequences of the sins we commit constantly, but largely out of ignorance and fear.

      He did this out of LOVE to show us the Way to free ourselves, as individuals, from our worst instincts.

      God warned Adam and Eve that if they ate fruit from the forbidden tree they would suffer and die.

      We know Eve was tempted by the Serpent, and utimately Adam succumbed to her blandishments, and disobeyed. As a result Death and Decay came into the world. Consequently, Corruption, Compulsion, and all things undesirable causing misery through Avarice, Dissension, Dishonesty and Selfishness entered the world.

      These things are the consequences of humanity's stubborn determination to have its own way. They are not a punishment.

      Innocence was lost, and that forcd the First Couple to leave Paradise. God then told Adam he would have to till the soil while Eve would bring forth children in pain. However, out of Love, He also told them he would send a Savior. We know Jesus is that Savior whose perfect Example has the power to rescue us us from our self-destructive proclivities, and brings us back, as enlightened individuals to unity with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

      All of us will ultimately choose the judgment we deserve by how we live our lives. If we do our best to live in the Spirit of Love –– and never count the cost –– as Jesus taught by Example, we have the best chance of achieving Eternal Life and Perpetual Bliss wth Our Father who art in Heaven.

      Yes God is our judge but he also is merciful. Jesus came into the world not to condemn the world to demonstrate that LOVE is all powerful, –– more powerful even than Death ––, and that LOVE and ONLY LOVE is the FULFILLING of God's LAW.

      God gave us Free Will, because He knows that no virtuous act has any value –– or any meaning ––, unless it is performed willingly, wholeheartedly and with no thought of how it may effect our fortunes, and our personal preferences.

      God wants us to be GOOD, but only because WE, ourselves, have each decided we sincerely WANT to be GOOD.

      +... MERRY ...+... CHRISTMAS! ...+

  9. I love reading this story, always have. I wish you a very merry Christmas with your son and thank you for the reminder to help someone, to bet on the 'safe side' when you have doubts.


  10. In the spirit of attempting a traditional Irish Christmas here at the CI homestead, Nollaig Shona Daoibh to you and your family AOW.

  11. I wish you all, my friends, a Merry Christmas. May many blessings be upon you all and please remember the less fortunate all year round.

    I don't know what became of the pilgrim that knocked on my door so early that Christmas day. All I can tell you is that I took a him a Christmas dinner later that day and the next day he was gone.


    Merry Christmas one and all today.
    Ululate with joy, sweet anthems sing.
    Elevate your spirits. Praise the King
    Lying newborn on His bed of hay.
    Lambs lie down with lions at His birth
    Eastern Magi come to bring Him gifts
    Rustic, humble scene the spirit lifts
    In awe as angels tell us of His worth
    Splendidly transcending earthly cares
    Altruism fair has come to reign
    Transforming duty’s dulness into pleasure.
    Understanding grain excels the tares
    Realistic vision saves us pain
    Doubtless yielding comfort beyond measure

    ~ Santa Claws

  13. Merry Christmas from the Common Cents family to yours! ( The Christmas Story included )


  14. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!


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