Friday, June 04, 2010


Stephen Bly
Pete and Pauline own a three-room cabin on the Grade next to the old highway down below their ranch. It came with property they bought years ago. Pete showed it to me one time with a “it’s not much” comment. There’s no electricity, but it’s got running water and a working wood stove.

          “Who lives here?” I asked.
          “Well, we let old Marv Whitman stay here. Of course we don’t charge him rent or nothin’ like that. Marv is trying to get by on his pension check and always has a pile of doctor bills.”
          “Is he a relative?”
          “A former hired man?”
          “Nope, he never worked for us, but he spent most of his life cowboyin’ up here on the prairie. We just figured he was entitled to a warm corner.”

          That’s the Western way...whether sharing a campfire or a part of the bunkhouse. And a cowman who faithfully performed his duty and grew old in that service had certainly earned the right for a bit of comfort. Pete and Pauline didn’t think of it as charity. It’s a cinch Marv didn’t see it that way either. It’s the Code of the West way of thinking...just doing what’s right by a man.

          Every town’s got a few like that—folks who’ve worked hard, but down on their lot or worn out from years of giving out. Someone needs to reach out some way and provide a warm corner. The Good Book’s got much to say about “contributing to the needs of others” (Romans 12:8)

Pete and Pauline sure got it right.


Trinity Rose said...
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Trinity Rose said...

I really like this. Being Christians we should all be more willing to help those in need.
Thanks Steve!

Stephen Bly said...

Trinity: Thanks for the note. This is something in our busy lives we should keep nudging ourselves about.