Archive for the ‘Fyodor Dostoyevsky’ Tag

The Extraordinary & Religion in Crime and Punishment   Leave a comment

This is from The Mackayan:

Dostoyevksy’s novel is the culmination of grey morality

Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment is not only the most famous novel in Russian literature, but one of the most renown in world fiction. It tells the story of Rodion Raskolnikov, a twenty-three year old peculiar, student who leaves law school prematurely due to financial burdens and lives in a small, destitute flat in Russia’s then-capital Saint Petersburg.

Raskolnikov hatches a plan to murder Alyona Ivanovna, an old pawn-broker hag for her money. However, despite all his planning and internal moral justification for the impending crime, he isn’t prepared for the mental anguish that follows when he realises it isn’t all black and white, but dirty shades of grey.

Crime and Punishment exceeds the linearity of being a murder-mystery and actually peaks as a novel with its focus on philosophical notions instead. To truly appreciate Dostoyevsky’s work, it’s imperative to understand this philosophy behind it. In 19th century Russia, nihilism was growing, equating to a notion of people no longer believing in God. With the disregard of this upper-being’s existence, someone more powerful than mortal humans that’d shape their ethics and morals with a religious code, it left an unanswered question; who would replace this creed? The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche provided a solution in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, with the concept of an “Übermensch” – which, in English, translates to ‘superman’ and ‘overman’.

Nietzsche believed that in the wake of these new revelations about God and what ethical tenets humans should abide by, it’s now the task of extraordinary ‘super’ men to take up the mantle and create the new values that humanity would follow – i.e. they become someone who shapes society so drastically they’re God-like consequently. Dostoyevsky, being religiously conservative, stuck by the conventional view that there was still an existing God who shaped human morals. Whilst Nietzsche wrote that “God is dead”, Dostoyevsky instead stated that “If there is no God, everything is permitted”. Much of Dostoyevsky’s strong religious faith can be linked back to the time he was almost executed, and his following years in a Siberian labour camp:

Having been sentenced to death by Tsar Nicholas I for being part of an underground group of intellectuals, Dostoyevsky was taken along with twenty-one others to Semyonovsky Square to be shot. However, as he was third in line, new orders were issued by the Tsar: he stated that as opposed to execution, all prisoners were instead to be sentenced to Siberia for four years hard labour. The trauma behind this near-death experience was so severe that a prisoner, Grigoryev, lost his mind and never recovered. This brush with death and his duration in Siberia made Dostoyevsky believe that it gave his existence a purpose. He began to see the need for a thing that exceeds the common person, a thing that humanity should strive for and zealously praise, but never fully obtain. In a sense, he was so convinced in the belief of a God, that he wrote Crime and Punishment as a testament to his disregard of Neitzsche’s nihilistic Übermensch theory and to religion’s power in the path of redemption.

Raskolnikov epitomises Dostoyevsky’s perception of the flaw in Nietzsche’s theory. This is done so in many ways, most notably by Raskolnikov’s hubris and disdain for society, whom he deems as sheep following the herd. Raskolnikov himself believes that he is an Übermensch destined for greatness and the novel mentions that he had even previously written an article about this idea – this acting as Crime and Punishment’s way of relaying it to the reader. He cites historically-extraordinary figures as templates to be inspired by and to follow, such as Napoleon:

“I simply hinted that an ‘extraordinary’ man has the right… that is not an official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience to overstep… certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit to the whole of humanity).”

“… legislators and leaders of men, such as Lycurgus, Solon, Muhammad, Napoleon, and so on, were all without exception criminals, from the very fact that, making a new law, they transgressed the ancient one, handed down from their ancestors and held sacred by the people, and they did not stop short of bloodshed either, if that bloodshed – often of innocent persons fighting bravely in defence of ancient law – were of use to their cause.”

Unlike Napoleon’s campaigns of war with the French army, Raskolnikov’s test of Übermensch endurance is of course about whether or not he should murder Alyona Ivanovna. Following Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s idea of the extraordinary man – which parallels Neitzsche’s Übermensch – ‘elite Hegelian men’ are inherently good and should always try to eradicate all that is bad in society, with a quasi-Machiavellian emphasis on if the ends justifying the means (the ends, of course, only being for good and not for one’s self).

Though Hegel’s theory is perhaps fundamentally naïve, following it, all the signs of Alyona being bad for society are there: she hoards money, doesn’t give back to any charitable cause except for appearances sake and routinely abuses her disabled, half-sister, Lizaveta, who slaves away tirelessly for her. Raskolnikov also assumes Alyona’s money could be used to benefit society: for example, he could continue his law studies and thus form a career that helps humanity, or alternatively, altruistically give away to the poor and needy.


Even though these seem like individual thoughts at first, it’s not until he hears a student have an exact same hypothetical conversation with a police officer about Alyona that his resolute on the matter is complete:

“Kill her [Alyona], take her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of humanity and the good of all. What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? For one life thousands would be saved from corruption and decay. One death, and a hundred lives in exchange – it’s simple arithmetic! Besides, what value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in the balance of existence? No more than the life of a louse, of a black-beetle, less in fact because the old woman is doing harm.”

So with Hegelianism to convince himself, and the student forming society’s wider-justification, Raskolnikov is willing to commit murder. However, it is in fact these very same influencing factors that foreshadow the reality that Raskolnikov is not who he thinks he is, and it’s this hypocrisy that Dostoyevsky uses to show perhaps the transparency of the theory. This hypocrisy comes from the fact that the process of becoming ‘extraordinary’ includes a complete mental dissociation/independence from the will of others, and to be able to do what one feels is right without a need for gratification – essentially, being completely cut off from humanity. Though, the ultimate test of Raskolnikov’s will doesn’t even come until after he’s committed his crime.

Going to Alyona’s flat with a stolen axe, he brutally murders her. Half-way through the robbery, the entirely-innocent Lizaveta walks in and so is consequently also killed. Even though he escapes with the money and successfully eludes the judicial system, it’s now a matter to try to do the same for his conscience. In the days and weeks after the murders, Raskolnikov begins to enter fits of delirium, and remorse, he subconsciously maybe wants to be caught.

The guilt consequently eats at him and it’s through this that he begins to realise that he isn’t the Übermensch he’s made himself out to be. This tear away from humanity proves to be so fierce and tough for Raskolnikov that he can’t handle the disconnect, and it eventually leads him to confess to the authorities so he can be sentenced to prison. Although he fails his test to become an extraordinary man, he now is able to enact redemption for his crime in the eyes of society, and God, and importantly, can reconnect with humanity again to start anew. It’s almost symbolically a way of reinserting God into their position as the upper-being, showing that no human could replace them.

Though Raskolnikov was all about a person internally battling with their-self about trying to fulfil an idea of what they should be – and therefore the unrealistic expectation to try to be a thing that exceeds God (at least in Dostoyevsky’s eyes), it is perhaps Svidrigalov who represents an even greater flaw with the Übermensch theory. Svidrigalov is almost an exaggerated caricature of the same theory, an Über-übermensch of sorts. See, with this idea of there being no God, and thus no wider moral code, Svidrigalov knows that he can exert his will all he wants and can continue doing so as there is no greater will beyond his own.

This philosophy leads him to sexually-assault a fifteen-year old and cause the demise of one of his servants because he knows he can simply get away with it without wider, afterlife punishment. It’s a complete paradox to Hegelianism because unlike Hegelianism, which supposedly is meant to be humanity at its very best, Svidrigalov is it at its worst. It’s this lack of definitiveness that equates to the flaw that Dostoyevsky maybe wanted to point out after all.

Crime and Punishment can inherently be reduced down to a scenario: is an act of murder justifiable if the consequences will help better society? And following this, Neitzsche’s Übermensch can also be put to the same standing: essentially that there is no black and white, only shades of grey. Sure, society could create and abide by its own new doctrine themselves and set out to make sure it’s only for humanity’s betterment, but with the gamble of the evil alternative, perhaps it’s a risk too big to take. This is why Dostoyevsky saw the need of a boundary, religion, that was more than humanity’s will, as it allowed it to remain in moderation consequently.

Even throughout history when we look at people who mightn’t have necessarily been familiar with Nietzsche’s theory, but had themselves similar self-illusions of grandeur, we can see that it’s not all so simple. Whilst Napoleon was successful in helping establish France as a republic and assisting in overthrowing the aristocracy, he turned into the very thing he once aimed to abolish, becoming a dictator and declaring himself the First Emperor of France. It’s examples like these that form the argument for figures like Fyodor Dostoyevsky as to why there is truly no being that can exceed God, because if there is no God, everything is permitted.

Fyodor Dostoyevksy – The Mantle of the Prophet

A Dark Road and a Bright Light   6 comments

53641-Fyodor+dostoyevsky+famous+quot (1)

This is from the blog Disparate Truths:

I write as my heart is broken, as I anticipated it would be. It was broken by reading Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. During the many hours I have spent not only reading but also meditating on the message and meaning of this work, I have been, as Dostoevsky might say, drawn into a terrible feeling which has been attempting, for the most part unsuccessfully and frustratingly, to become a thought. Two thoughts, specifically, and I would like to share them.

A very short background to the novel: Dostoevsky’s intent for the novel was “to depict a thoroughly good man,” as he wrote in 1868 to a friend. He saw this as an almost impossible task. Ultimately, the obsessions, intrigues and vices of the world in which the epileptic and kindhearted hero, Myshkin, shows up to in St Petersburg leave him out of his mind in an institution, the only place in this world which seems a fitting abode for such a saint. It is an incredibly moving novel with not a little insight into the human heart and mind. Dostoevsky himself, like the character he created, suffered from epileptic fits during the composition of the novel, and lost his newborn daughter not long after that letter.

The First Thought: A Painting…

In the novel, there is a recurring painting in the dimly lit house of Ragozhin, one of the darkest characters in the novel: it is Holbein’s “Christ Entombed.” One of the characters, Ippolet, reads out to a group gathered for the birthday of Myshkin an incredible critique of the painting. Ippolet is dying of tuberculosis as an 18-yr old boy and reads this excerpt from a longer essay delivered shortly before he fails to commit suicide in front of the party (his gun does not go off and nothing happens).

He reads: “I believe I stood before [the painting] for five minutes. There was nothing good about it from an artistic point of view, but it produced a strange uneasiness in me. The picture represented Christ who has only just been taken from the cross. I believe artists usually paint Christ, both on the cross and after He has been taken from the cross, still with extraordinary beauty of face…In Ragozhin’s picture there’s no trace of beauty. It is in every detail the corpse of a man who has endured infinite agony….It’s true it’s the face of a man only just taken from the cross—that is to say, still bearing traces of warmth and life. Nothing is rigid in it yet, so that there’s still a look of suffering in the face of the dead man, as though he were still feeling it….Yet the face has not been spared in the least. It is simply nature, and the corpse of a man, whoever he might be, must really look like that after such suffering….

“But, strange to say, as one looks at this corpse of a tortured man, a peculiar and curious question arises: if just such a corpse (and it must have been just like that) was seen by all His disciples…by all who believed in Him and worshipped Him, how could they believe that that martyr would rise again?

“Looking at such a picture, one conceives of nature …in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of that Being…” (380-1, from the Wordsworth edition).

We seldom look upon such a Christ, if ever. Even the feeling which arises from viewing Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ seems small when compared to the painting, in which the body lying there could be any man’s, emaciated, destroyed, hideous. For the same reason, I do not like to think of what I have been through with my depression, the depths to which it has taken me. There is an abyss within the mind where there are no walls, but only what seems to be infinite blackness where one falls and falls but cannot grab hold of anything. For the same reason again, you and I rarely consider the lengths we would go to have what we want, or that the deepest part of our self is that part which considers nothing but itself important, meaningful or worthy, even while whispering to itself that this is most likely untrue.

This was my first thought. It was to meditate upon simply how dead Christ was, and what that death looks like face to face.

The Second Thought: An Abyss of Goodness

This is my second thought: It was that exact emaciated, destroyed and decaying body which lied there after the moment of the most horrible death of the most innocent and loving man, and it was at that exact time, when hope, after being dead for three days, was invisible and hidden behind a total darkness, that God raises up that body at that time as glorified perfection and the embodiment of hope.

My thought is that there are dark valleys which we have not known, but which exist in the human soul and of which only God knows, and that God is already bringing life to these places which are so dark within us that we cannot perceive them.

God has trod the path of absolute darkness, has been in its cave entombed, and has tasted the tasteless lack of all sensation and the terrible, ultimate slipping away.

God not only knows the evil which we also know of and for which we may or may not feel guilty, but the evil which we do without realizing and whose consequences extend innumerably. He sees that death which comes upon us from nature herself and that death which we pursue headlong in the great, wild hunt for that which will assuage our own soul by means of fulfilling its small and petty desires.

God has been there. God has seen it, and understood it more perfectly. God did not shrink from death, even a death as haunting as Holbein’s portrayal. Knowing it, he walked such a path willingly. Knowing us, he follows us persistently. God has reached deeper into my soul than I can ever know to tend to a garden he has planted in a place as barren as West Texas, so that not only can I eat of the fruit which he grows, but also so I may share of the fruit which all but drops into my hands and whose roots I cannot see.

I Didn’t Ask for This…

Overcome by depression a few days ago, I prayed. I wish I had always taken this first step so immediately in my life; it would have saved years of agony. I told God that I didn’t ask for this depression, and that it leads me to a place of spiritual horror where I never wanted to go. I told God that he gave me this, and that he did it on purpose. I said I that this was illogical and from my perspective causeless. But I also told God that he has never done anything but tend to that dark-soul-orchard, whether or not I put up the “no-help-wanted” sign. I concluded that if he wanted me to endure so much pain, he must have a darn good reason for it. And he does.

The greater the death we see, the sweeter will be death’s own death. The more agonizing the portrayal of Christ we can bear by God’s grace, the more the grace of God will be free and beautiful to us. The greater depths of darkness we perceive within ourselves (because they are there), the more joyous and valuable the friendship with this merciful God becomes. If you suffer, I understand, and we can certainly talk about that. But God understands better.

Holbein and Dostoevsky perfectly portrayed the beginning, the first half of the story. But the rest of the story is why the New Testament is obsessed with resurrection: it is the only true starting point for beauty, for hope, and for selfless love, that is, for life. God does not simply wait for his people to do what is good: He is already at work. Praise God.

Posted August 24, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

The Importance of the Prophetic   14 comments


“Head of a Prophet” by Mikhail Vrubel

This is an excerpt from a post published on the blog Grace and Truth:

The Importance of the Prophetic

The prophet represents God. He goes forth from the presence of God and speaks what God has given him to speak. The prophet speaks the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not just speaking the Word, it is speaking it forth in the power of an anointing borne out of intimacy with Jesus Himself. The prophet is the ambassador of Christ in this world, and so the prophet and his message are inextricably linked. A true prophet cannot be separated from the message he brings.

We see this with Ezekiel. God had a message for Israel and He had His prophet to act out what he was proclaiming to Israel. He had to lie down for a certain number of days as a sign against rebellious Israel. (Ezekiel 4)

One cannot receive the prophet himself, whilst rejecting the message he brings. And vice versa is true.

Neither can the true prophet be separated from God. When God sends someone to speak forth His Word, then he/she is speaking it on God’s behalf. Rejection of the prophet and his message therefore is rejection of God and His Word.

He who receives you receives me, and He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” Matthew 10:40

The Way of the Flesh

The rejection of the Word of God is normal. What I mean by that is that it is the way of human flesh.   The flesh always resists the Spirit. It always has and it always will. The flesh has its eyes blinded and its heart hardened.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

I don’t know about you, but since I was born again I left behind “normal”. I don’t want the way of the flesh anymore, I am desperate for the way of the Spirit. As followers of Christ, we who are now living by the Spirit should be able to receive and hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church regardless of whether it is a message of encouragement/edification or whether it is a message of correction/reproof. You see, the Holy Spirit wants to work in us to conform us to the image of Christ and sometimes the old needs to be torn down first before the new can be built.

Rejection of the Prophetic Word

The consequence of the rejection of the prophetic Word is judgment and death.

This may sound harsh, but there is a spiritual principle at work here.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” Galations 6:8

Because the Word of God is alive (Hebrews 4:12) when it is received it takes root in order to bring forth life, just like a little seed.

However when the Word of God is rejected, that place where life was meant to dwell becomes a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum and something has to take that place.   What enters in is corruption.  When Christ is actively rejected after the Word has been preached, a new level of corruption enters into that individual/church/city.

Jesus told the disciples what action to take with those who reject them and their words:

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorra in the day of judgment than for that city!” Matthew 10:14, 15

The action of the shaking of dust from one’s feet is an act of judgment against that place.

“The Jews thought the land of Israel so peculiarly holy, that when they came home from any heathen country, they stopped at the borders and shook or wiped off the dust of it from their feet, that the holy land might not be polluted with it. Therefore the action here enjoined was a lively intimation, that those Jews who had rejected the Gospel were holy no longer, but were on a level with heathens and idolaters.”

–John Wesley

Jesus brings Sodom and Gomorrah into the picture as a picture of God’s judgment.  It was an awful judgment of fire and brimstone against awful sin. Yet they were judged apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ—it had not been preached to them. How much more severely will God judge the place to which the gospel has been sent and rejected?


Here is my comment to the above post:

Excellent post. Sometimes it is not merely the words of a prophet that are rejected by certain people, but the prophet’s lifestyle of obedience.

But here is some more on a prophet’s words being rejected: Back in 1989 [or 1990] I was attending an Assembly of God in Ames, Iowa. I stood up and gave a testimony on how I was delivered from many demons (I think it is one of the most beautiful and powerful testimonies that I have ever given—it really glorifies God). After I gave my testimony, the pastor (Gary Pilcher) jumped out of his seat, threw the assistant pastor out of the pulpit and told me in no uncertain terms that he did not like my testimony and that I should leave the teaching to him. (I didn’t think I was doing any teaching, I was just giving a testimony of the Holy Spirit’s powerful working in my life.)

Six months later I gave a similar testimony about how I was delivered from many demons (in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established). In my spirit, half of the congregation received my testimony, but the same pastor replied somewhat negatively—I don’t remember exactly what he said. Immediately, the Lord told me to take the shoes off of my feet, shake the dust off of my shoes and walk out of that church. I didn’t do it because I felt sorry for Pastor Pilcher. After the church service, I walked out the door and Pastor Pilcher followed me outside and spoke to me privately. Basically, what he said is that my testimony glorified Satan. When Gary Pilcher said that, he blasphemed the Holy Ghost; he will never get saved. A few years later, Gary Pilcher’s son died of cancer.

The last I heard, Gary Pilcher was the assistant supervisor of the Assemblies of God in central Iowa: when you reject Christ for a living, you can really be promoted up the ladder in the world system of churchianity. The wages of sin (rejecting a prophet’s testimony) is death—spiritual death and physical death. Touch not my anointed, do my prophets no harm.


“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This is Sodom! This is Sodom!
Behold, I Send Unto You Prophets
Jackson, Wyoming Fire, 2012

Obedience, Fasting and Prayer   4 comments


This quote is from my book The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & other hitchhiking stories, page 51:

“‘The monastic way is very different. Obedience, fasting and prayer are laughed at, yet only through them lies the way to real, true freedom. I cut off my superfluous and unnecessary desires, I subdue my proud and wanton will and chastise it with obedience, and with God’s help I attain freedom of spirit and with it spiritual joy.'”

[excerpt from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Book VI, “The Russian Monk”]


“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.

“Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.”

― Oswald Chambers


“Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”

― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


“It is possible to know all about doctrine and still not know Jesus.  A person’s soul is in grave danger when the knowledge of doctrine surpasses Jesus, avoiding intimate touch with Him.”

–Oswald Chambers


Missionary Quotations: Hudson Taylor
Where Have All the Monks Gone
New Testament Circumcision
Paga (Intercession)
Obedience: The Bondage Breaker

The Saint Must Walk Alone   14 comments


This is from The Wilderness Road blog:

MOST OF THE WORLD’S GREAT SOULS have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.

In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man’s creation) that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.

Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.

Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man “whose soul was alike a star and dwelt apart”? As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men. Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others. How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering. There alone with a horror of great darkness upon him he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.

Moses also was a man apart. While yet attached to the court of Pharaoh he took long walks alone, and during one of these walks while far removed from the crowds he saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting and came to the rescue of his countryman. After the resultant break with Egypt he dwelt in almost complete seclusion in the desert. There while he watched his sheep alone the wonder of the burning bush appeared to him, and later on the peak of Sinai he crouched alone to gaze in fascinated awe at the Presence, partly hidden, partly disclosed, within the cloud and fire.

The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness. They loved their people and gloried in the religion of the fathers, but their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their zeal for the welfare of the nation of Israel drove them away from the crowd and into long periods of heaviness. “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children,” cried one and unwittingly spoke for all the rest.

Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write treading His lonely way to the cross, His deep loneliness unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.

‘Tis midnight, and on Olive’s brow

The star is dimmed that lately shone;

‘Tis midnight; in the garden now,

The suffering Saviour prays alone.

‘Tis midnight, and from all removed

The Saviour wrestles lone with fears,

E’en the disciple whom He loved

Heeds not his Master’s grief and tears.


He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw.

There are some things too sacred for any eye but God’s to look upon. The curiosity, the clamor, the well-meant but blundering effort to help can only hinder the waiting soul and make unlikely if not impossible the communication of the secret message of God to the worshiping heart.

Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience. Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, “Oh, I am never lonely. Christ said, `I will never leave you nor forsake you,’ and, `Lo, I am with you alway.’ How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?”

Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real. It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience. This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society. The sense of companionship which he mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people. Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. “They all forsook him, and fled.”

The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature. God made us for each other. The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right. The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His Godgiven instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise. After all, he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul and who but God can walk there with him? He is of another spirit from the multitudes that tread the courts of the Lord’s house. He has seen that of which they have only heard, and he walks among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his return from the altar when the people whispered, “He has seen a vision.”

The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Saviour glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and overserious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life’s summum bonum.

Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone.

The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the broken-hearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer as it were caught up to the third heavens and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. “God will not suffer you to lose anything by it,” he told them. “You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you.” This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.

The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful “adjustment” to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

–A.W. Tozer,
Man–The Dwelling Place of God, Chapter 39


“Believe to the end, even if all men went astray and you were left the only one faithful; bring your offering even then and praise God in your loneliness.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Spirit of a Prophet
Josephus on John the Baptist
Picture of a Prophet

Prophecies, laughter, and the End of the World   2 comments


This is from the blog See, there is this thing called biology . . .:

I write a lot about how perception is not reality, because God has pulled the rug out from under me on more than one occasion. Always gently, often humorously. I’m not sure if God has a sense of humor or if He even needs one, but there is no doubt in my mind that he uses the power of laughter to teach us things and to heal us. In fact, that is often how I recognize His presence, He makes me laugh, a bit like a delighted child witnessing a slight of hand. It’s awkward at funerals.

When we are told to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, I suspect it’s our laughter that he finds most pleasing, not the kind that that is full of ridicule and mockery, but the innocent kind that just catches you unaware. Like His presence sometimes does.

Last year I had a prophetic experience that was somewhat humorous. I was having dreams about the return of Christ, beautiful dreams, so real, but oddly, a bit medieval. There was no rapture, no lake of fire, no destruction or any sort, no plagues, no four horseman, no blood moons, none of that, just the most pleasant and delightful return of a King, like a wedding or a family reunion. There was much feasting, horses, laughter, and gifts.

God is aware of the fact that I love literal translations of music videos. That’s where you remove all the metaphors and take the lyrics literally, often running video in the background that reflects the literal translation. They can be quite funny. “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” is a famous literal translation of a music video.

Anyway, God took me through this literal translation of the Book of Revelations. It got very surreal and I only share a few highlights. I literally whacked my head on metal man, this creature made out of tin cans hanging on a porch. I went inside and stepped on a 7 headed plastic beast which impaled my foot. (If you’ve ever stepped on a plastic toy, there’s this new and improved pain scale doctors now use to measure pain, it goes from zero…to stepping on a lego.)

So, with a lump on my head and bleeding profusely from my foot, I went home to take a nap. A few hours later, my second daughter called from Philadelphia. She had literally left work and flown across the country to go to a BBQ. As soon as I hung up the phone I got another call, from a church in Philadelphia, with a sales pitch that began, ” I have a bone to pick with you…”

At this point I’m starting to recognize the story, metal man, a seven headed beast, and the church in Philadelphia, but I didn’t think much of it. I was just grateful my daughter wasn’t calling to tell me she had eloped. So I got up and went to the store for some milk and sure enough, while walking into the store, our resident schizophrenic guy screamed at me, “hello! it’s the end of the world!” So I screamed back, “I know, isn’t it awesome?” So he smiled and tipped his hat at me.

Inside the store, walking through the wine aisle, a shoe box slid off the shelf and fell on my head. This is the second time I’ve been whacked on the head that day. I kid you not it was full of small plastic angels, 7 of them, each with a little gold trumpet.

That night I went to bed and something shook me awake, saying, “I come like a thief in the night.” I took that literally, not prophetically, since I was hearing noises in the backyard. So, a bit irrationally, I didn’t wake my husband up, I prayed. I asked, “what do you want me to do, Lord?” He said, “call out the window that you are alone and unarmed.” We had a bit of a discussion about the wisdom of doing that, but God just waited patiently for me to obey like He always does. So, I called out the window, “I’m alone and unarmed, are you okay?”  “You,” fortunately turned out to be a girl, a very lost and confused girl, who collapsed on my pile of weeds and started to cry. She wasn’t high on a King, that’s for sure. God said, “preach,” so preach I did, out the bedroom window, everything I could think of, about how precious and worthy we are too Him, about how much love He has for us, about how it much it grieves Him when we don’t realize it. I preached about how there is nothing so big and so bad, that He won’t forgive and cover with His mercy and grace. So the girl calmed down, said she felt better, said thank you, and left.

About this time my husband wakes up and asks, “what are you doing?”
“Preaching out the bedroom window,” I told him.
To give you some idea of how graciously my husband has adapted to having a crazy wife, he said, “Oh, well alright then,” rolled over and went back to sleep.

The next morning, stuck in the pile of weeds I call a lawn, was a little wooden cross made out of two sticks tied together with a piece of yarn. I’m not sure if God left it for me or if the girl did, but it was the sweetest gift and it made me laugh.

I suspect that what God really wants us all to know more than anything else in the world, is how much we are loved.



“One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Early Christians Were Intensely Christ-Centered   11 comments


This is from the blog Called Out:  Now What?

The Early Christians Were Intensely Christ-Centered

by Ray Spellbrink

The early Christians were intensely Christ-centered. Jesus Christ was their pulse beat. He was their life, their breath, and their central point of reference. He was the object of their worship, the subject of their songs, and the content of their discussion and vocabulary. The New Testament church made the Lord Jesus Christ central and supreme in all things.

The New Testament church had no fixed order of worship. The early Christians gathered in open-participatory meetings where all believers shared their experience of Christ, exercised their gifts, and sought to edify one another. No one was a spectator. All were given the privilege and the responsibility to participate.

The purpose of these church meetings was twofold. It was for the mutual edification of the body. It was also to make visible the Lord Jesus Christ through the every-member functioning of His body. The early church meetings were not religious “services.” They were informal gatherings that were permeated with an atmosphere of freedom, spontaneity, and joy. The meetings belonged to Jesus Christ and to the church [Ed: the people]; they did not serve as a platform for any particular ministry or gifted person.

The New Testament church lived as a face-to-face community. While the early Christians gathered for corporate worship and mutual edification, the church did not exist to merely meet once or twice a week. The New Testament believers lived a shared life. They cared for one another outside of scheduled meetings. They were, in the very real sense of the word, family.

Christianity was the first and only religion the world has ever known that was void of ritual, clergy, and sacred buildings. For the first 300 years of the church’s existence, Christians gathered in homes.

On special occasions, Christian workers would sometimes make use of larger facilities (like Solomon’s Porch [John 10:23, Acts 3:11] and the Hall of Tyrannus [Acts 19:9]). But they had no concept of a sacred edifice nor of spending large amounts of money on buildings. Nor would they ever call a building a “church” or the “house of God”.

The only sacred building the early Christians knew was the one not made with human hands.

The New Testament church did not have a clergy. The Catholic priest and the Protestant pastor were completely unknown. The church had traveling apostolic workers who planted and nurtured churches. But these workers were not viewed as being part of a special clergy caste. They were part of the body of Christ, and they served the churches (not the other way around). Every Christian possessed different gifts and different functions, but only Jesus Christ had the exclusive right to exercise authority over His people. No man had that right. Eldering and shepherding were just two of those gifts.

Elders and shepherds were ordinary Christians with certain gifts. They were not special offices. And they did not monopolize the ministry of the church meetings.

They were simply seasoned Christians who naturally cared for the members of the church during times of crisis and provided oversight for the whole assembly.

Decision making in the New Testament church fell upon the shoulders of the whole assembly. Traveling church planters would sometimes give input and direction. But ultimately, the whole church made local decisions under the lordship of Jesus Christ. It was the church’s responsibility to find the Lord’s mind together and act accordingly.

The New Testament church was organic, not organizational. It was not welded together by putting people into office, creating programs, constructing rituals, and developing a top-down hierarchy or chain-of-command structure. The church was a living, breathing organism. It was born, it would grow, and it naturally produced all of what was in its DNA. That would include all the gifts, ministries and functions of the body of Christ. In the eyes of God, the church is a beautiful woman. The bride of Christ. She was a colony from heaven, not a man-made organization from earth.

Tithing was not a practice of the New Testament church. The early Christians used their funds to support the poor among them, as well as the poor in the world. They also supported traveling itinerant church planters so that the gospel could be spread and churches could be raised up in other lands. They gave according to their ability, not out of guilt, duty or compulsion. Pastor/clergy salaries were unheard of.

Every Christian in the church was a priest, a minister, and a functioning member of the body.

Baptism was the outward expression of Christian conversion. When the early Christians led people to the Lord, they immediately baptized them in water as to testimony to their new position. The Lord’s Supper was an ongoing expression whereby the early Christians reaffirmed their faith in Jesus Christ and their oneness with His body.

The Supper was a full meal which the church enjoyed together in the spirit and atmosphere of joy and celebration. It was the fellowship of the body of Christ, not a token ritual or a religious rite. And it was never officiated by a clergy or a special priesthood.

The early Christians did not build Bible schools or seminaries to train young workers. Christian workers were educated and trained by older workers in the context of church life. They learned “on the job”. Jesus provided the initial model for this “on-the-job” training when he mentored the Twelve. Paul duplicated it when he trained young Gentile workers in Ephesus.

The early Christians did not divide themselves into various denominations. they understood their oneness in Christ and expressed it visibly in every city. To their minds, there was only one church per city (even though it may have met in many different homes throughout the locale). If you were a Christian in the first century, you belonged to that one church. The unity of the Spirit was well guarded. Denominating themselves (“I am of Paul”, “I am of Peter”, “I am of Appolos”) was regarded as sectarian and divisive (See 1 Corinthians 1:12)”

I do believe these are some of the aspects of God’s vision for His church. Remember, the goal in our lives and in our church should be the absolute centrality of Jesus Christ. Nothing less will suffice.

We need more revolutionaries today who will stand against the religious system of our day. I encourage you to catch the vision God has for His church! The freedom His plan and will brings is beyond words! Let’s “buck the system” and seek a complete upheaval of those church practices that are so engrained in our churches today that are contrary to biblical principles. Let’s build on the right foundation – Jesus Christ. Anything less results in defect.

Let’s return to Bible basics and New Testament Christianity where Jesus is Lord!


Until next time, enjoy the journey!


“If someone proved to me that Christ
is outside the truth, and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Christian History

Contrary to Common Sense   8 comments


Oswald Chambers, 1874-1817

“We hear it said that Jesus Christ taught nothing contrary to common sense: everything Jesus Christ taught was contrary to common sense. Not one thing in the Sermon on the Mount is common sense. The basis of Christianity is neither common sense nor rationalism; it springs from another centre, viz. a personal relationship to God in Christ Jesus in which everything is ventured on from a basis that is not seen.”

–Oswald Chambers


“One must be a great man indeed to be able to hold out even against common sense.”
“Or else a fool.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky


“The warrior of God is not the man of muscle and a strong jaw, but the man of un-utterable weakness, the man who knows he has not any power; Jacob is no longer strong in himself, he is strong only in God, his life is no longer marked by striving, but by reliance on God. You cannot imitate reliance on God.”

–Oswald Chambers

Vladimir Putin on Barack Obama   26 comments


President Vladimir Putin of Russia

Dreams from the LORD 2011-2014
18 May 2014

Last night I had a dream where I was talking with Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.  We spoke for quite some time.  In a nutshell, Putin said that Obama was put in power to destroy the United States.


Barack Obama
Barack Obama and the Media
Dead in the Water
A Vision about George Washington and America
A Gift from Russia
Even Vladimir Putin says USA is doomed without its Christian Faith
The Greatest Cultural Victory of the Left Has Been to Disregard the Nazi-Soviet Pact
Vladimir Putin’s Christian Faith
Mark Taylor’s Prophetic Word on Russia and the United States (10-30-16)
Breaking New:  Iran ousted from Syria in Trump-Putin safe zones deal
A Dream about Donald Trump
Thomas Sowell Brilliantly Dismantles Obama’s Presidency
Putin just Exposed the Plot to Destroy America
Putin embarrasses Megyn Kelly
Dover Beach
Obama Will Leave the White House
Dream:  Destructive Group Cut Off


“Russia was a slave in Europe, but would be a master in Asia.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

[As quoted in “Dilemmas of Empire 1850-1918: Power, Territory, Identity” by Dominic Livien in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 34, No.2 (April 1999), pp. 180.]




Hitchhiking Stories from Digihitch   14 comments


Hitchhiking Stories from Digihitch
By Tim Shey


A Dog Named Patton

Hitchhiking in Wyoming and Montana in 2006.

Dreams from the Lord 2003-2006 (Journal)
21 December 2006

Yesterday, I hitchhiked from Riverton through Shoshoni and Thermopolis to Cody [Wyoming]. From Cody I walked a few miles and got a ride with a truck driver named Steve. Steve was from North Dakota and he had spent eight years in the National Guard and had spent time in Kosovo and Iraq as a combat engineer. His job in Iraq was to find roadside bombs and get rid of them. He had been blown up four times in his Humvee. One time his Humvee stopped right next to a roadside bomb and it did not go off. Right then, he told me, he felt invincible — he wasn’t meant to die there and it made him a believer in God. Steve then told me what his grandfather had told him: “If you are meant to hang, you will never die by fire.” Which means: God is sovereign.

Steve also told me that he was raised in the Catholic Church, and before they got confirmed, they had to go to this class — I guess, to explain Catholic doctrine. In the class, Steve told the priest, “If I am sitting in a goose blind thinking about God, isn’t that better than sitting in church thinking about being in a goose blind?” The priest kicked him out of the class.

Steve had his pet dog — it looked like a black lab cross — in the cab with him. He named his dog, Patton, after General George S. Patton of World War II fame. We talked a lot about the war in Iraq.

Steve took me from Cody through Big Timber, Montana and drove north on U.S. 191 to Harlowton. From Harlowton we went west on U.S. 12 where he dropped me off at the junction just north of Two Dot, Montana. It was after sundown, so I walked two or three miles till I found a haystack. I slept in the haystack last night. I believe it got down to 12 degrees F. It was a beautiful, crisp, cold night; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky; the stars were very bright. I was grateful for the haystack.

This morning I walked maybe two miles west on U.S. 12 and got a ride with two women in a van. They lived in Harlowton and were going to do some skiing north of White Sulphur Springs. They were Christians and we had a pleasant conversation. We talked about hitchhiking and living by faith. They dropped me off here in White Sulphur Springs.

[Published by—submitted October 6, 2011]


Wanderer of the Western Plains

This piece was written by someone who gave me a ride from Togwotee Pass to Jackson, Wyoming in February 2011. I discovered it on the Internet: Poetry Critical: Online Poetry Workshop; the author’s username is Oldshoe.

Oldshoe writes:


Tonight I was heading up through Dubois into Togwotee Pass on my way towards Moran Junction and onto Jackson, listening to Ray [Lamontagne].

A man on the first front mile of the pass, hitching, full pack on his back, thumb extended.

I turned the music down and slowed, pulled to the side, he opened, thanked me for stopping, tried to shove the pack in the back but it would not fit with my daughter’s car seat in the way.

Popped the trunk, he managed it in, as I informed him there was no room up front with all my bags in the passenger seat, so climbed into the back and off we went.

I picked up the High Plains Drifter, Tim Shey, who after some brief introductions and inquires started in on his story. Hitchhiking for 14-Years, on a journey following his “Holy Ghost”, a Christian, a wanderer, a vagabond who carries only few dollars and what will fit in his pack and not weigh him down.

An hour drive into Jackson, talking about life on the road, books, written and read, poetry, poems.

His fondness of Faulkner, Joyce, Hopkins and Elliot amongst many others.

He inquired as to my education, spoke as to his… our background, origins… journey.

Together we recited parts of Wind Hoover [“The Windhover” by Gerard Manley Hopkins] from memory:

“I caught this morning, morning’s minion”

“king- dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon”

“in his riding off the rolling level underneath him steady air”

“my heart in hiding! Stirred for a bird…”

So then and back till he began to recite the entirety of Harry Ploughman [“Harry Ploughman” by Gerard Manley Hopkins] aloud in the back, stopping only for a breath here and there.

“Hard as hurdle arms, with a broth of goldish flue
Breathed round; the rack of ribs; the scooped flank; lank
Rope-over thigh; knee-nave; and barrelled shank-
Head and foot, shoulder and shank-
By a grey eye’s heed steered well, one crew, fall to;
Stand at stress. Each limb’s barrowy brawn, his thew
That onewhere curded, onewhere sucked or sank-
Soared or sank-,
Though as a beechbole firm, finds his, as at a roll-call, rank
And features, in flesh, what deed he each must do-
His sinew-service where do.

“He leans to it, Harry bends, look. Back, elbow, and liquid waist
In him, all quail to the wallowing o’ the plough: ‘s cheek crimsons; curls
Wag or crossbridle, in a wind lifted, windlaced-
See his wind- lilylocks -laced;
Churlsgrace, too, child of Amansstrength, how it hangs or hurls
Them-broad in bluff hide his frowning feet lashed! raced
With, along them, cragiron under and cold furls-
With-a-fountain’s shining-shot furls.”

Spoke of will and causality, one tangent to the other against the backdrop of the Tetons.

I offered to buy him dinner, a few drinks, but he declined, having to be on his way back out, hitching up through the Teton Pass to see a friend before nightfall.

So took him as far as I was going, Sidewinders, just outside the center of Jackson.

So long Tim Shey, drifter, hitcher, wanderer of the western plains.

[Published by—submitted September 28, 2011]


A Hitchhiking Trip to Kansas

A hitchhiking trip from Wyoming to Kansas and back to Wyoming.

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006 (Journal)
6 November 2006

I got back this evening from a hitchhiking trip into Kansas. I am here at the shelter in Riverton [Wyoming]. I left Jackson on 26 October thinking that the Lord wanted me to go all the way to Washington, D.C.–but the Lord had different plans (which didn’t break my heart); I really didn’t want to hitchhike all the way to D.C. I made it all the way to the western edge of Topeka, Kansas and then I made my way back west.

The first day out of Jackson [Wyoming], I got all the way to Midwest where a couple let me stay for the night. He had spent 16 years in prison and we had a good talk about the things of God; he told me his girlfriend was schizophrenic–she asked me a lot of questions about the Gospel, but her head obviously was full of demons–I hope that my words were able to penetrate into her spirit. He drove a grader for an outfit in the Midwest area. I then hitchhiked to Gillette, then to Moorcroft and Sundance and made it to Lusk that night where I slept in a junked truck. The next day I hitchhiked to Valentine, Nebraska and then got a ride with a Christian truck driver to North Platte where he gave me forty bucks, so I was able to get a motel room that night.

The next morning I walked south out of North Platte and got a ride with a young Christian named Justin to McCook. He gave me a check for thirty bucks and I headed east to York where I slept in a grain box in an empty cattle shed that night. The next day I got to Salina, Kansas and then got a ride to Junction City, where I slept in a partially finished building that some construction company was still working on. The next morning around six o’clock I was awakened by the sheetrock crew: they weren’t that surprised to see someone sleeping on their job-site. I then hitchhiked to Manhattan (where I tried to stay at the shelter, but it was full) and then to Topeka, Kansas. It was there that the Lord told me to head back west, so I cashed Justin’s check in Topeka and then headed west on I-70.

This young man and his son picked me up outside of Topeka and took me to the Manhattan exit. He had been in the Army for six years and had spent some time in Iraq. Earlier this year he had taken a .44 magnum and tried to blow his head off, but failed. He was wearing sunglasses and there were some scars on his face and he was minus a few teeth. He said he should be dead, but that some higher power was looking over him. I gave him my CD hoping that some Scriptures might be en-grafted into him. I really didn’t want to dig too deep into his life because I thought that he was going through a lot of stress from the Iraq War, but we did talk about the things of God for a while. He seemed like he was interested in my work on the road. I slept in a building off the interstate that night and then made my way west the next morning towards Junction City.

I was hitchhiking west out of Junction City when this young man picked me up and took me to his dad and mom’s place in Enterprise, Kansas. His dad was involved in a local prison ministry; we had a real good chat. They let me stay with their family that night. We went to a Wednesday night service at an Assembly of God in Abilene, Kansas; it was excellent fellowship. The pastor let me give a little talk on what the Lord was doing in my life on the road. The Holy Ghost was very present in that fellowship that night. The next day I got dropped off in Abilene and visited the President Eisenhower Center for a little while and then  headed north.

On Kansas Highway 18 heading west, I got a ride with a guy named Mike who gave me a ride close to Minneapolis, Kansas on U.S. Highway 81. Mike lived south of Leavenworth, Kansas about 15 miles and drove a truck for a living. We stopped and had a short prayer meeting. Mike gave me ten bucks and then I headed north.

I got some rides to Mankato, Kansas, walked west for a while and then found a junked pickup to sleep in. The next day I got a ride to Smith Center with a guy named Joe who gave me 80 bucks. I then hitchhiked to Phillipsburg and got a motel room that night. The next day I walked quite a bit–maybe over fifteen miles. I later learned that there is a prison just east of Norton, Kansas. I got a ride to Norton, got a hamburger and then hitchhiked to Oberlin where I got another motel room for the night. The next morning I headed north on U.S. Highway 83 out of Oberlin, and got a ride to McCook, Nebraska and then got a good ride all the way to Valentine. I hitchhiked west on U.S. 20 and slept in a junked van in Cody, Nebraska.

This morning I walked west a few miles and got a ride with a Christian all the way to Shoshoni, Wyoming. We had a real intense talk about all kinds of things pertaining to the Gospel. I wrote down some Christian websites that I thought he might like to look up. We stopped in Chadron, Nebraska for lunch. He was raised in Iowa and now lives in Nebraska with his wife and son. I should be heading back west to Jackson in two or three days.

[Published by—September 27, 2011]


Tim! We Thought You Were Dead!

This story reminds me of a John Wayne movie.

Back in August 2004, I was walking west on U.S. 12 from Lolo, Montana. I stopped and put out my thumb. Then I heard someone yelling. I turned around and there was this guy a few hundred yards down the road and he was yelling at me. He motioned for me walk to him.

I ran down the road, and he smiled and asked if I needed a ride. He and his wife had a four-door pickup, so I climbed into the back seat.

They were Kim and his wife, Pat, and they were moving from Hot Springs, Montana to the Kooskia, Idaho area. Kim had a wood shop in Hot Springs; he built furniture for a living.

So we drove back to their new home near Kooskia and I stayed there for one or two nights. In the next two or three months, I would hitchhike to their place on a hill overlooking the Clearwater River and stay for a day or two and then hit the road. We even made a trip back to Montana where I drove the pickup; we hauled a bunch of lumber to his new wood shop in Idaho. I helped Kim put the roof on his new house.

Then in November of that year, I hitchhiked from Washington to Texas and I didn’t see them again for at least a year and a half.

It was probably in the summer of 2006, when I was hitchhiking through the Kooskia neighborhood, that I thought I would visit Kim and Pat and see how they were doing.

I walked up the lane that led to their house. I walked up to the front door and knocked.

Pat answered the door and just about had a heart attack. She exclaimed, “Tim! We thought you were dead!”

“Hey, good to see you guys again.” I gave Pat a big hug.

Kim likes to carry his .45 semi auto in a holster under the back of his shirt. I walked into the kitchen and Kim already had his gun pulled.

Kim smiled at me, put his .45 back in the holster and exclaimed, “All right, Tim’s back!” And we shook hands.

We had a great talk. They were concerned about what had happened to me, so they phoned this lady in Lewiston asking about my whereabouts. This lady gave me a ride in the fall of 2004 and made a photocopy of “High Plains Drifter” (the book) and sent it to Kim and Pat. She didn’t know what happened to me.

This incident reminded me a John Wayne movie. John Wayne was riding his horse out of the desert into ranch country; I guess he had been gone for a long time.

This old guy looked up and said to John Wayne, “I thought you were dead.”

John Wayne answered, “Not hardly.”

Back in July 1987, I hitchhiked from Ellensburg, Washington to Ames, Iowa. I walked into Hanson Lumber Company to see if I could get my job back (I had worked there in 1977-1979). I hadn’t been there in eight years, so I wondered if anybody there remembered me.

I walked up to the sales counter and Wally noticed me right away. He said, “Sawman! I thought you were dead!”

I answered, “Not hardly.”

[Published by Digihitch—submitted December 18, 2011]


The Closest I Ever Got To Hypothermia

Getting wet and cold hitchhiking from Texas to Kansas.

I think it was back in the late 1990s when I left Amarillo, Texas. It was around 40 degrees F. I hitchhiked north to Guymon, Oklahoma and got dropped off next to this livestock auction. It was now around 32 degrees F and it was raining/snowing.

I stood in the rain/snow mix for at least an hour. I was wet and cold, and in the beginning, I was shivering quite a bit. After a while, I quit shivering and began to feel a bit discombobulated–something didn’t feel right.

Finally, this car pulled over and gave me a ride. This guy was coming from Sante Fe, New Mexico and he was going all the way to Lawrence, Kansas to see his girlfriend. I was grateful to be inside a heated car, but I was not getting warm very fast.

After a while, I had this guy pull over to a restaurant, so that I could get something to eat. I had some money on me, so I offered to buy him something. I got a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. We got back in the car and headed north. I still was not warm.

Eventually, he had me drive for him so that he could take a nap. I pulled over twice to get a cup of hot chocolate to help myself get warmed up. After my second cup of hot chocolate, I started to get warmed up.

We made it to Lawrence and I met his girlfriend. She was really beautiful. She made us some supper.

During supper, I told her, “Your boyfriend saved my life.” She gave him a kiss.

They wanted to spend some time alone together, so I walked back outside and got into the car and slept there that night. It rained all night and the windshield leaked, so my legs got wet and cold.

The next morning, I said goodbye to the young couple and walked all over Lawrence looking for an exit to get to Kansas City. This tractor-trailer pulled over and I climbed into the cab.

The cab was nice and warm. This trucker had to go to Kansas City. We drove to KC and he had to stop at this warehouse dock for over two hours–time for me to get dried out. It was a real blessing.

After the warehouse, the trucker dropped me off near I-70 and I hitchhiked into Iowa.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted December 18, 2011]


Stacking Hay in Ellensburg, Washington

Finding work on the road.

In July 1986 I hitchhiked through Seattle and got dropped off in Issaquah, Washington on I-90. I waited there for about three hours and got a ride with a college kid named Mike. He drove me all the way to Ellensburg where he was going to school at Central Washington University. I’m not sure what he was majoring in, but he was an aspiring film director.

On the way to Ellensburg, I recited some of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “The Wreck of the Deutschland” to Mike. He thought that it was an intense poem. I was looking for work, so Mike suggested Ward Rugh in Ellensburg; Ward Rugh exported hay. Sounded good to me. A lot of hay is grown in the Kittitas Valley; there are a lot of ranches in the Ellensburg area. We pulled into Ellensburg and he dropped me off at Ward Rugh.

I walked into the office and got a job stacking hay right away. I told them that I was raised on a cattle farm in Iowa and had baled tons of hay when I was younger. I walked out of Ward Rugh and headed towards the Central Washington University campus to look up Mike; he had given me his address before he dropped me off.

I walked to his apartment, but nobody was home. There was this guy playing basketball nearby and we began to talk. He invited me inside his apartment and made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I told him that I was hitchhiking and was planning on sleeping outside some place. He told me about this Christian hostel just south of downtown. I thanked him and walked to the hostel.

I walked through the front door of the hostel and met Jude, who ran the place. I told him that I had a job starting tomorrow; I was going to stack hay for Ward Rugh.

Jude smiled at me and said, “You are the first guy ever to come here who already had a job.”

The next day I walked to Ward Rugh and met another guy and we both drove these gas pots (a smaller version of a tractor-trailer) to a couple of ranches and stacked hay into the containers. It was very hard work. The bales averaged 115 pounds and we had to use hooks to handle the bales and wear leather chaps to protect our pants. The bales I was used to handling back in Iowa were smaller, lighter and we used our hands, not hooks–and we didn’t have to wear leather chaps.

After work, I walked downtown and bought a hamburger at a cafe. I walked to Jude’s hostel and slept there. The next day I stacked hay with another guy; we had to stack bales in a barn.

I was going to hit the road soon, so I went to Ward Rugh the next day and told them that I was leaving soon. They paid me for two days work. I believe I had over a hundred dollars on me–that was a lot of money for a hitchhiker. It felt good to have some money in your pocket.

I ended up staying in Ellensburg for a week, and then I headed east on I-90.

[Published by Digihitch—December 18, 2011]


Al-Qaeda and the Mafia

A ride from Mount Vernon to Long Creek, Oregon.

About four or five years ago [2004], I hitchhiked from John Day, Oregon to Mount Vernon. It was just after sundown and a light rain started to fall. I walked north on U.S. 395 for maybe a quarter of a mile and this pickup pulled over to give me a ride.

It was an older man and his wife. I climbed into the clubcab and we drove north to Long Creek. We had a nice talk.

He was originally from Montana. When he was fourteen, his dad left the family, so he had to go to work driving a logging truck to support the family. He drove the logging truck for four years and then was drafted into the Army.

After he got out of the Army, he got involved in the surveillance industry. He later started his own company which had cutting edge surveillance technology–it was based in San Diego. He had sold his company several years ago and bought some land near Long Creek where he and his wife now lived.

As we pulled into Long Creek, it was still raining. It was probably late in the fall and it was going to get cold that night. So he asked me if I wanted to stay at his place for the night. He had built a new home and a new barn. He told me that the barn had a bedroom in the loft, a bathroom, shower and a washer and dryer. It was fine by me.

So we pulled into his place. He showed me the barn and told me that there were surveillance cameras all over his property. You couldn’t see the cameras; they were the size of a dime. We then walked up to the house and we had some supper. It was a beautiful house; it took them a year to build.

After supper, I walked back down to the barn. I showered, washed my clothes and then went to bed.

The next morning, I walked up to the house. When I got to within twenty yards of the house, the garage door opened. I walked inside and greeted the man and his wife. He told me he saw me walking up to the house on his monitor. We had a real nice breakfast.

He told me that he gets phone calls once in a while from the Director of the FBI and from four-star generals in the Army. He was just in Iraq helping to set up some surveillance equipment for an Army barracks. He almost got killed. He was at a meeting with U.S. Army and Iraqi Army officers and somebody phoned him to meet him some place. Just after he left the meeting, a mortar round crashed into the building and a few people were killed.

He drove me back to Long Creek. He said that, any time I was in the neighborhood, to give him a call and I would have a place to stay for the night.

Thinking about all the surveillance cameras on his place (and it was a beautiful place: six hundred acres of trees and a brand new home) I finally asked him, “You have a lot of cameras on your place. Are you afraid that al-Qaeda is going to come here and try and kill you?”

“Oh, no, no. Not al-Qaeda,” he answered. “I helped but a bunch of Mafia guys in prison.”

Having surveillance cameras on your place could be a good thing.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted December 23, 2011]


Prodigal Son

People are put in your path for a reason.

From November 2001 to August 2002, St. John, Kansas was my home base. These two guys picked me up near Hutchinson, Kansas and took me home to St. John. Whenever I would stop by, I would do odd jobs and get some rest and then hit the road. I always thought St. John was a nice town; it had a lot of red brick streets.

This one time in 2002, I was with some friends in St. John and they invited a young couple over from nearby Stafford. I told them that I met this young man named David at the mission in Jackson, Wyoming; he said that he knew some people in Stafford. The young lady had this surprised look on her face and told me that David’s aunt and uncle lived in Stafford. She said that David’s parents lived in Colorado and they hadn’t heard from him in two years; they thought he was dead.

I told her that I had a good talk with David at the mission. He had worked a couple of jobs in the Jackson area and seemed like he was doing pretty good.

The young lady and her husband drove back to Stafford and told her mother and David’s aunt and uncle. A few days later, the young lady invited me over to her mom’s house for supper. During supper, David’s mom phoned me from Colorado and was so grateful that I had met her son. I told her David was doing just fine.

Isn’t it beautiful how the Lord puts people in your path?

Last year (2008), the Lord led me back down to St. John and Stafford, Kansas and I looked up a few of the people that I met back in 2002. To make a long story short, David eventually got in contact with his parents and he is now living in Colorado close to his family.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted December 25, 2011]


Talking to a Coyote in the Nevada Desert

I meet a curious coyote while eating a lemon pie.

I was walking south of Cedarville, California in the fall of 1999 and got a ride or two to Eagleville. There was this convenience store in Eagleville, so I thought I would stop by and get something to eat. The lady who owned the store was very friendly. She said that they were closing the store down in the next few days, so she gave me some beef jerky and a few lemon pies. I was very grateful. She told me that she was going to drive to Fernley, Nevada the next morning, so she would be looking for me tomorrow and give me a ride.

I walked out of the convenience store and got a ride or two south into Nevada and was dropped off in the middle of somewhere. It was close to sundown, so I walked for a short while and then walked out into the sagebrush and slept there that night. I was somewhere between Eagleville and Gerlach, Nevada.

The next morning, I woke up and sat up in my sleeping bag and began eating some beef jerky. Right now this coyote walked out of the sagebrush maybe fifteen yards from where I was sitting and began sniffing the air. He looked at me as if I would throw him a piece of beef jerky.

I looked at him and said, “Listen, coyote, this is my beef jerky. Go catch a rabbit or something.”

He looked disappointed and walked back into the sagebrush.

I am guessing that coyotes have an excellent sense of smell. He either heard me walking around last night and getting ready to sleep, or else he could smell me. I believe he was sleeping very close to my camp site last night — and maybe he wasn’t sleeping — maybe he was watching me.

After I got done with my beef jerky, I began to eat a lemon pie. The coyote reappeared from the sagebrush and began to sniff the air. He may have never smelled a lemon pie before. Not too many lemon pies are being baked in this part of the desert. He was even closer now — maybe ten yards from where I was sitting.

I looked at the coyote again and said, “This is my lemon pie, coyote. Beat it!”

He walked across my camp site, looking at me like a dog, trying to make me feel guilty for not giving him something to eat. He wandered into the sagebrush and I never saw him again.

With my breakfast finished, I rolled up my sleeping bag in my backpack and walked to the road. I may have walked a mile or so and the lady from the convenience store in Eagleville picked me up and drove me all the way to Fernley.

I told her those lemon pies really tasted good.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted December 25, 2011]


Three Rides

Meeting members of the same family on three different occasions.

It was back in 2004. I was hitchhiking in Idaho on US-12 heading east. I was standing on the shoulder a mile from Kooskia. I stood there for a while and got a ride in a pickup. It was a four-door pickup, so I got in the back seat.

In the cab of the pickup was a man, his wife and their daughter — I think she was six years old. The girl’s name was Sophia.

They drove to Missoula, Montana and then took I-90 east to Columbus. They were going to Wyoming to pick up their son. Their son was staying at his grandparents’ place. They were going to bring him back home to eastern Oregon where they lived.

They dropped me off in Columbus close to midnight. I walked to the Timberweld place near the railroad tracks and slept on a lift of lumber that night.

The next morning I hitchhiked to Absarokee. I picked up the rest of my things that I had left at somebody’s apartment and then headed back north to Columbus.

From Columbus I got a ride west on I-90 to Livingston.

In Livingston, I was standing on this ramp and guess who was pulling into Livingston on that same ramp? That same couple that had picked me up the day before in Idaho. It was an unexpected surprise. They stopped and waved at me. I threw my backpack in the back of their pickup and hopped in.

They drove to Bozeman where they dropped me off. If I remember right, they were going to get a motel room for the night, so I continued west on I-90.

Two months later, in October, I was hitchhiking in eastern Oregon. I got dropped off in Enterprise and started heading north on Highway 3. This pickup pulled over and I jumped in the back. It was an older couple.

They drove for a number of miles, pulled off this road and stopped. I jumped out, I walked up to the passenger window and I thanked them for the ride.

We talked for a little while. Then I mentioned that I had met this couple from eastern Oregon that had a daughter named Sophia. I remembered the name Sophia because I thought it was an unusual name for an American girl. It is a very beautiful name.

All of a sudden, they both smiled and the lady exclaimed, “Sophia is our granddaughter!”

The three of us had a good laugh.

I replied, “For some crazy reason I remembered the girl’s name. I don’t think I have ever met a girl named Sophia before.”

“Sophia’s mom works as a waitress at a cafe just down the road. Do you want us to take you there?”

“Yeah, that would be great.”

So I hopped back into the back of the pickup and we drove to the cafe.

I walked into the cafe, stood there and waited for this waitress to turn around. Sophia’s mom saw me, smiled and ran over to me and gave me a big hug. We talked for a short while and then she had to get back to work.

She later phoned her husband, who worked at a nearby ranch. He drove to the cafe and picked up his wife and myself. I stayed at their place for a couple of nights and then headed for Clarkston, Washington.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted December 27, 2011]


Two Nights in Fort Sumner, New Mexico

Getting a ride and helping someone haul railroad ties.

I was hitchhiking in southern New Mexico and ended up somewhere near Las Cruces. It was probably back in 1997. I headed north on I-25 and got a ride or two to a little town called Mountainair on Highway 60. I ducked into this gas station and got something to eat. As I walked east on Highway 60, I had this peace in my spirit that surpassed all understanding. I knew that something good was going to happen.

I walked for a while and this four-door pickup and trailer pulled over. I got in the back seat. In the pickup was a man, his wife and two kids.

He worked for the Santa Fe Railroad as a welder. It was his day off, so he was going to drive some place and pick up a load of railroad ties (I believe these are also called “sleepers”). He asked me if I could help him out. I said, no problem.

We drove for a while and then turned off the highway onto this gravel road. We drove close to these railroad tracks to a pile of railroad ties. He bought the used railroad ties from the Santa Fe Railroad and then resold them to people who did landscaping work. We loaded his trailer with railroad ties, strapped it down and headed out.

We got to his home in Fort Sumner that evening. We had a nice supper and then watched a movie. They had this couch that folded out into a bed; I slept there that night.

The next day we delivered and unloaded the railroad ties some place. Then we drove to another place and loaded up his trailer with some more railroad ties. I think we hauled two or three loads that day.

After we were done with the railroad ties, we picked up his wife and kids and visited a friend and his wife. This guy also worked for the Santa Fe Railroad.

As a welder, he worked on the railroad tracks. He welded “frogs” on the tracks (I am not sure how to describe what a “frog” is, but they are made out of steel and go between the two rails). He told me that it can be dangerous work because you can’t hear the trains coming down the tracks. The diesel engines are built behind the cab, so the sound of the engines goes out from the sides, not from the front. Once he and his fellow welder were busy working on a “frog”. This train almost ran them over because they couldn’t hear it coming down the tracks. They barely had time to throw their welding equipment off the tracks.

He said he liked being a welder. He made enough money to take care of his family. I was grateful that he picked me up. He gave me a ride even though his wife and kids were in the pickup. Some guys would not like the idea of having a hitchhiker and their family in the same vehicle. Staying with that family for two nights was a pleasant memory.

My second evening there, the welder and I practised hitting a target with his bow and arrow. The next morning we had breakfast and his wife gave me some food for the road. I thanked them for their hospitality and hitchhiked to Lubbock, Texas.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted December 27, 2011]

Hitch-Hikers Handbook

Featured on Hitch-Hikers Handbook


Bike Race from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming

Helping a couple of guys in a bike race.

A few days ago [September 2009], I was walking east on U.S. 89 out of Montpelier, Idaho. There were all kinds of people in town; the U.S. 89 and U.S. 30 intersection was blocked off for this bike race. It was a race from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming. I later learned that the first groups of bicyclists left Logan around 6 AM.

I walked two miles or so and this van pulled over to give me a ride. The driver’s name was Lee and his son was participating in the race. Lee’s son’s name was Tanner and he was fifteen years old. Lee and Tanner lived in Logan with the rest of their family.

So Lee and I would drive for a while and wait for his son to catch up on his bike. When Tanner caught up to our van, he would stop, get something to eat and drink and Lee would ask him how he was doing. Lee stopped at Geneva, Idaho and at this pass between Geneva and Afton, Wyoming. We stopped again in Afton where there were a lot of people gathered to help out the bicyclists — I guess you could call it a pit stop.

Tanner hit the road from Afton and Lee and I drove to Alpine where he met up with some friends at Yankee Doodles Restaurant. Lee bought me a cheeseburger and fries and we watched BYU play Tulane (college football) on the TV.

After the restaurant, Lee drove back to Etna where he met up with Tanner again. Tanner said he was getting real tired. So Lee had Tanner get in the van and get some rest while Lee put on his bicycling clothes and put his bike together.

We were there for maybe twenty minutes and Lee encouraged his son to hang in there tough and finish the race. Lee and Tanner then took off and I drove the van.

I stopped in Alpine, and later, at Hoback Junction; they rode on by, which showed me that Tanner was doing just fine. I then drove through Jackson and then to Teton Village where all these people were waiting at the finish line. There were vehicles parked everywhere.

I waited for Lee and Tanner to finish. I think they finished the race at 7 PM. The three of us climbed back into the van and drove to the Motel 6 in Jackson where they had a room reserved.

Lee gave me twenty dollars for helping out during the race. I was very grateful. Lee then drove me to downtown Jackson and dropped me off. I slept on my friends’ couch that night.

[Published by Digihitch–submitted December 27, 2011]


Northern California

A hitchhiking trip from Dubois, Wyoming to Northern California.

I am visiting a friend here in a small town in northern California who helped me out back in September 1999 when I was hitchhiking through town. Susie and her husband run a motel here, and when I walked up to her, she said that she was just thinking about me this past week. When the Lord puts something or someone on your mind, it usually means something.

I left Dubois, Wyoming yesterday [March 2009] at around 9 AM. I then got a ride to Jackson. From Jackson, I got a few rides to Rexburg, Idaho. These two students at BYU-Idaho (Cody and Matt) picked me up and drove me from Driggs to Rexburg and bought me a meal at Wendy’s — it sure hit the spot. We had a great conversation about the Gospel. Cody had his room mate take a photo of Cody and myself before I hit the road.

From Rexburg, I got two rides to Pocatello. I walked maybe two or three miles through Pocatello and then got a ride with this old guy all the way to Northern California. He told me that he had worked for Dr. Edward Teller in Nevada years ago. I got dropped off at around 6:30 this morning. I walked around town for a short while and then hitchhiked to where Susie and her husband lived.

What happened in September 1999 is a pleasant memory. I was walking up U.S. 395 east of Susanville, CA when these two guys picked me up. They were working on a road crew and it was their day off. They said I could hang out with them for the day, so we drove to this dude ranch and killed some time there. They then drove back to their camp where we had supper and watched “The Man from Snowy River” in his camper. I slept in one of the guys’ pickup that night.

The next morning, they dropped me off somewhere near Ravendale, and this guy picked me up and asked me if I could do some carpenter work for him; he lived near Madeline. He had a bad leg and I did some of the heavy lifting for him. He gave me breakfast and a backpack he had bought in 1979. I gave him my traveling bag and he drove me to the next town north on U.S. 395 where I hit the road.

I walked a ways and this guy picked me up and asked me to do some yard work for him. I worked for him for a few hours and had supper with he and his wife. They put me up in a motel in town and that is where I met Susie. The next morning, Susie and I had a great talk and she gave me a hooded sweatshirt and some apples and something else to eat. I later got a ride into the San Francisco area and worked for an environmental engineer for a few days. We then drove back to his home where I met his wife and son. A couple of days there and I moseyed into Nevada.

It is amazing who the Lord puts in your path. There was this movie that I saw this past year, “The Four Feathers”, starring Heath Ledger. There is a scene in the movie where this British soldier meets this African warrior. The African warrior told the British soldier, “God put you in my path.”

Today I am 49 years old.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted January 1, 2012]


Good Karma

Hitchhiking from Tennessee to California.

High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America
By Tim Shey

Excerpt from Chapter Nine:

I walked down the road for a mile or two, and this truck driver saw me and took me to a truck stop in Tennessee. He preached to me in the power of the Holy Ghost all the way to Knoxville. At Knoxville this guy picked me up and took me all the way to Fort Smith, Arkansas. We stopped at a truck stop in West Memphis, Arkansas around midnight.

This twelve or thirteen-year-old kid walked up to me and asked me to give him a ride to California. I told him he had to ask the driver. The driver got pretty upset and told the kid to go home to his parents. The kid walked off. He was pretty young-it would be dangerous for him to be on the road. I sure wasn’t thinking about hitchhiking when I was that age. Maybe he didn’t have much of a home life.

I got rides from Fort Smith to Amarillo to Lubbock and then to Roswell. From Roswell I got a great ride from a truck driver all the way to Antonito, Colorado. I got to Alamosa and this lady named Nancy picked me up and she gave me a sandwich and something to drink. She let me off north of Alamosa and then I got rides to Salida and then to Canon City. There I slept under a doublewide home in a sales lot.

The next day I hit Pueblo, then Walsenburg and headed back west on US 160. I got into Del Norte and I went to the sheriff’s office to see if someone would put me up for the night. A local church put me up in a motel. Nancy told me she lived in Del Norte, so I went to look her up. She lived close to the sheriff’s office and she was surprised to see me. We talked for a while and then she drove me to Pagosa Springs.

I got rides to Durango and Cortez and then I was dropped off near Dove Creek where I slept in somebody’s machine shed. It rained hard that night and I was grateful to be warm and dry. I woke up around four in the morning and began walking down the main street of Dove Creek. I found an old Kenworth or Peterbilt tractor and crawled into the sleeper and slept for two or three hours. The mattress of the sleeper was more comfortable than the dirt floor of the machine shed.

It was now daylight and I thought I had better get out of the truck before somebody walked up to it and drove off with it. That reminded me of the time back in July 1980 when I hopped a freight train in Fremont, Nebraska and I rode it all the way to a place called Chapman-near Grand Island. This cop saw me riding on a flatcar and unfortunately the train stopped. The cop drove his car to where I was sitting and told me to get off the flatcar. So I jumped off the train and got in the police car. To make a long story short, the cop dropped me off at the county line and I had to walk six miles that night to the next town. The name of the town was Duncan and, by the time I got to Duncan, I had developed a pretty bad attitude. I was tired, thirsty and I got caught riding a freight train–I was not a happy camper. Anyway, I saw this pickup parked by the railroad tracks and slept in the cab that night. I woke up and walked to US 30 and stood there thumbing for a ride to Columbus. About a half hour later, I saw this guy walk up to the pickup and drive off in it. Sometimes it pays to get up early in the morning.

From Dove Creek I walked to a truck stop, got something to eat and walked several miles west. A truck driver picked me up and we drove through Utah up to Salt Lake City and then east to Wyoming. We drove north of Rock Springs and unloaded his trailer at a gas field. We then drove to northern Utah and loaded his trailer with steel. We drove back to near Farmington, New Mexico to his ranch where he and his dad lived. I stayed there a few days and helped do cleanup around the place. We then drove to Albuquerque where he dropped me off.

From Albuquerque I headed west on I-40 and got a motel room in Grants. From there I headed south and west on Highway 53 and then south on US 191 near the Zuni Indian Reservation in Arizona. I walked several miles and found this abandoned building by the side of the road. I jumped the fence and walked behind the building about fifty yards and camped there that night. I slept there in my sleeping bag and listened to the coyotes yelp and howl.

The next day I got to St. Johns, Show Low and then to Globe where I slept out in some bushes on a hillside. The next morning I got a few rides to downtown Phoenix and then I started walking. I must have walked ten or fifteen miles and slept somewhere off the road someplace. The next morning I reached Litchfield Road and got a couple of rides to Blythe, California.

It was a hundred and ten degrees in Blythe. In Phoenix the day before, it was a hundred degrees-I stopped several times to fill up my water bottle. After an hour wait, this guy in a van picked me up. I got in the van and looked at the guy–he was rubbing the back of his head.

“What’s wrong with your head?” I asked.

“I got robbed by a hitchhiker,” he said.

“What?” I exclaimed.

“Yup. He hit me over the head at a rest area down the road and stole four hundred dollars I had on me.”

“Then why did you ever pick me up?” I asked completely dumbfounded.

“I needed all the good karma I could get.”

I sat there in disbelief as we drove up US 95 to Vidal. He was hoping that I had some money on me to help pay for gas. I told him I was sorry, but that I was broke. We talked for a while and then he casually mentioned that he had a box of Poptarts in the back seat. I hadn’t eaten in fifty-two hours; those were the best Poptarts I ever had.

We drove to Vidal and we stopped at a gas station. There I talked with the kid that worked behind the counter. I told him that a hitchhiker robbed this guy, and that he was trying to sell some camping equipment so that he could buy some gas and get back to Ridgecrest. He said, no problem. He bought thirty dollars worth of equipment and we were off.

We drove north to Needles and headed west on I-40. Somewhere near Ludlow we stopped at a truck stop. He slept in the van and I slept on the ground. The next day we made it to Ridgecrest and I headed north on US 395.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted July 18, 2011]


Miguel the Chef

Hitchhiking from Bozeman to Big Sky, Montana.

Yesterday I was walking south of Four Corners, Montana (west of Bozeman) and this guy picked me up. His name was Miguel and he was driving to Big Sky. He was born in Santa Monica, California; his parents were from Spain and England, respectively. He did live for a time in Newcastle in northern England; he had a slight accent.

We had a good conversation. Miguel is a chef and he cooks for people in their homes. When I met him, he was going to Justin Timberlake’s house to cook for twenty people. I guess Miguel has cooked for some very wealthy people at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky. He has cooked for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

One time Bill Gates asked Miguel to cook for he and his friends at his house at the Yellowstone Club. Miguel showed up and Bill Gates handed him a hundred-dollar bill and told him that he didn’t have to cook; they were going to McDonalds to get some hamburgers. So Bill Gates and his friends took Gates’ helicopter and flew through the canyon that goes from Big Sky to just south of Four Corners, flew to Belgrade to the airport, hopped in a car and drove to McDonalds. They got their food, hopped back in their car, drove back to the airport, hopped back in the helicopter and flew back to Big Sky.

I guess that is all fine and dandy, but if Bill Gates EVER borrows MY helicopter without MY permission so that HE can go to McDonalds, I might get a bit grumpy.

Now that I have heard of everything, I can die happy.

Without McDonalds we will be a people no more.

P.S. After Miguel dropped me off at the gas station in Big Sky, he gave me some money; I was very grateful because I was broke. I bought a sandwich and then hit the road.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted July 18, 2011]


A Ride on the Reservation

Hitchhiking in South Dakota.

This morning I was walking a mile or two south of Mission, South Dakota on U.S. 83 when this vehicle pulled over to pick me up. This guy was from the Lakota Tribe on the Rosebud Reservation. It was really windy and cold, so I was grateful to be in a heated vehicle for a short while. I believe it was below zero with the wind chill.

This guy told me that he a had dream a short while ago and in the dream he saw a guy walking down the road, so he picked him up. When he saw me walking down the road, he had to pick me up.

I told him that I have had a lot of dreams from the Lord and that some of these dreams have come true. He then told me that back in 2000 he had a dream about an airplane that crashed into two tall buildings. I said that the Lord does show things to people in dreams or He warns people in dreams pertaining to future events.

The Lord can give dreams to believers and unbelievers. The Lord gave dreams to Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar. He gave dreams to Jews and Christians. I have heard that the Lord is giving dreams to Muslims about Jesus and they are getting saved. Praise the Lord!

God is sovereign; He rules in the affairs of men.

A few days ago, I hitchhiked from Bozeman, Montana to Bismarck, North Dakota. Two days ago, I hitchhiked from Bismarck to Pierre, South Dakota. Today I made it to Valentine, Nebraska. Later this afternoon, I may visit a friend who lives just east of Valentine.

Just remembered: yesterday I was walking a few miles east of Bismarck, North Dakota on I-94 when this guy pulled over to give me a ride. He dropped me off at Sterling, North Dakota. He told me that he picks up every hitchhiker he sees because it might be Jesus walking down the road.

[Published by Digihitch—submitted July 22, 2011]


“But how could you live and have no story to tell?”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Tim Shey Hitchhiking in Western Wyoming
The Things I Carry
Road Profile –
Book Review:  High Plains Drifter

Posted March 31, 2014 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,