Tuesday, February 24, 2015

White Bear Man

 My 10 year old daughter and I hesitated a little before
deciding to leave today for our daily morning walk on the beach.
No sunrise to see, misty rain gushing with high winds,
38 degrees, with a 28 degree wind chill.
 (feels pretty dang cold on the beach)
 With only 2 more days
here on South Padre Island, we figured we better go.
On days like this, we have the beach to ourselves.
There's something about just being there in God's awesomeness.
(By ourselves)
We stopped a couple times to pick a few shells that caught our eyes.
A man caught up with us and greeted us with the normal,
"How long are you down here for?"
Followed by, "Where are you from?"
This happens daily on our walk,
but this man, wearing a bright white hooded South Padre sweatshirt,
stayed and talked a little longer.
He was from Minnesota like us.
One of the million things I love about being down here
is meeting people from all over and finding out where they are from.
People, for some reason, light up when they talk about home.
We have this instant bond because we've left the snow and cold
in search of warm air and sunshine..
This man told me he was from the White Bear Lake area.
(near the Twin Cities)
After finding out where we were from,
he told me where he was originally from.
(now keep in mind, he's probably in his 70's)
Upon hearing his original city, I said,
"You must be Catholic, isn't everyone Catholic where you are from?"
Ice breaker-conversation starter
I do it all the time.
He told me he is Catholic.
(you knew there would be a "but" didn't you?)
that he disagrees with some things.
And that he doesn't go to church because of it.
I half kidded that It's Lent, and it's the perfect time to come back!
Of course, I had to ask what those things were.
he only told me about one.
(because it was freezing cold, otherwise, I think we'd have talked
for hours, he was really nice)
I thought to myself,
Oh, no he's going to go on about same-sex marriages,
or abortion or Confession or the Eucharist.
But he didn't.
What he disagrees with
surprised me.
He doesn't believe in Hell.
I know there are a lot of people that don't believe there is a Hell,
I'm not sure I've met any of them though.
I've met anti-Catholics, ex-Catholics, Atheists, but not this.
I'm always curious.
I always want to know why.
I always want to try to understand people and why they think the way they do.
He told me he doesn't think God would send anyone to such a terrible place.
That, he thinks everyone goes to Heaven, because we are all "wired differently",
therefore, because God made us that way, why would he send us to Hell?
OH, you see, how we could probably talk for hours?
He obviously does not read the bible.
(I know, typical lukewarm "Catholic")
If he read the bible, he'd know that God is just.
(I told him God is just)
He'd know that God gives us free will to choose.
He would know there is a Hell.
He told me all the good things he does all the time.
That one time, when he was younger, and working,
he used to deliver sheetrock and he saw a billfold on the side of the highway,
stopped and his partner looked at him and was surprised that he was going to return the wallet.
I told him what an awesome example he was to this man,
how that one little thing probably effected him
 and has probably made him think more than once in his life.
He told me that he feels the same whether he goes to church or not.
That it is neither good or bad to go or not go.
He feels the same.
How very sad, that he's never been moved by The Spirit.
That he has never felt ON FIRE FOR GOD!! 
I told him about Fatima.
I suggested he try praying the rosary for a month.
He said his parents went to daily Mass and prayed the rosary daily.
The grace is there, it's within reach.
White Bear Man has beautiful white hair, a bright infectious smile,
and he made me think he is probably an awesome grandpa!
He needs prayers though, don't you think?
Could you pray for him?
When we parted ways,
He hugged us both!!
He instigated the hugs!  
See what a nice, sweet man he is?
Just think what our prayers could do for him.
At this point, the wind had gotten stronger and we decided to go home.
We had walked maybe only a half mile down the beach.
We usually walk about 3 miles total.
God has a plan for all of us.
This was no chance meeting.
God knew we'd meet.
And He knew YOU and I would pray for White Bear Man.


  1. Thank you for letting us hear about Jesus at work

  2. God places us in certain places at certain times to interact with certain people.
    And that morning, He chose you and your daughter. : )

  3. Tears! Thank you for your witness! Will pray for him.

  4. We never know who we may touch, or who may touch us!
    "for we walk by faith, not by sight" 2 Cor 5:7

  5. Love this story! We will pray for him.

  6. Wow! I love how you bring such a bright witness of God's love wherever you go, Jamie. I will definitely be praying for him-

  7. When I was younger I struggled with the idea of Hell. I didn't understand how at the moment of death a merciful God wouldn't give you one last chance to see Him. I was convinced that if a person were to see him in all His glory they would drop to their knees and repent. Then I read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. That gave me a great understanding to our free will and how our sin affects our choices. Even seeing the beauty of Heaven most people chose to go back to "Grey Town".

    Amazing how God is working in your vacation! And what a great momma you are showing your daughter how to witness! Prayers for White Bear Man!

  8. Jeese Louise...I personally think the church should require a class every year to freshen people up on the faith. There for sure is a hell....and it is for all eternity. FOREVER...never getting out.

    You are a great witness. Praying for him.

    It is actually WARM today in MN. I will take 28 any day with sunshine! Enjoy your walks this week!

  9. We actually live in White Bear. So I'll pray for him too :)

  10. Yes, prayers for this man.

    A good friend of ours died today (it was expected, but still shocking, in a way) and her son said to me, "I'll do fine as long as people don't talk about 'fire' and all that." (Meaning he didn't want any "talk" about prayers for her soul.) He said, "She was a good woman and I know she's at peace in heaven."

    It's as though people feel they're doing an injustice to their loved ones by thinking they're in purgatory. But imagine if all Catholics felt this way, while their loved ones are "doing time" in Purgatory!! And no belief in Hell? Once you're there, you're stuck, but that's why we need to believe in it--to avoid it!

    I will tell you a story about my Dad. About a year after he died, we all sort of stopped praying for his soul. I still prayed, but my fervor slackened and I was told later that my sister and my mom also stopped praying. It felt "wrong" to keep praying for my Dad, because afterall, he wasn't THAT bad! To keep praying for him after a full year seemed sort of insulting. We all wanted to believe he was at peace in heaven.

    Then one day while I was at adoration, I had finished praying for my Dad, but also wondered (without asking in prayer) if he was still in Purgatory. Then I decided to read. Lo and behold, I saw a book on Purgatory. I opened it up and the very first page I saw was a story about a nun who saw an apparition of her father. He had died a year or so ago and she had prayed fervently for him, as did her mother and the rest of the family. However, they all "felt" that he was in heaven and stopped praying for him. He appeared to her and rebuked her saying, "Why have you stopped praying for me while I suffer in Purgatory?" She answered him that they had assumed that he was in heaven and in no need in prayer. He told her that because of their lack of prayers, his sufferings had increased and he was still in Purgatory without their prayers. He told her that at this point, only Masses offered and sacrifices made on her part would decrease his sufferings.

    So after I finished this story, I thought, wow, how weird that this story just happened to be a father coming to his daughter, telling her that he is still suffering in Purgatory. Still, I didn't consider it a "sign". I did happen to tell my mom the next day, and she started crying. She said she had asked for a sign if she needed to keep praying for my Dad, and that was when I called her.

    Sorry for the long comment! So glad you talked to that man, and yes, this was definitely God acting on that man's behalf!

  11. I am praying for White Bear Man that he will return to church and a closer relationship to God. I believe God arranged for you two to have the chat. Hell exists and the worst part of it is, hell means you are not near God. Did you read C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce? It is about this subject, in a fiction form.

  12. God's perfect timing and placing you in the perfect place. I know his heart will be moved because of your conversation. May he be open to the Holy Spirit gently nudging him back in the right direction.

    Joining you in prayer.


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