Waiting for GodFriendo 18 comments
Here at Rusty Lime lately, there has been some turmoil over a subject that has been covered over and over at this URL. So many posts about Atheism and Religion. Mostly Pro Atheism and Con Religion. There have been and are still those readers and even contributors who fight back, and some writers who even buck the trend. Myself-I don't think anyone has any trouble figuring where I stand on the issue of god...I don't believe.
Being a native Oregonian, I was somewhat familiar with this story from the get go, though there was no story-other than a missing man-until May, 1995. The sign to the right actually marks the stretch of road in question.
Belos is the story from the pages of the New York Times.
Trapped in Snow in Oregon, Salesman Died After 9 Weeks
AGNESS, OR May 30— Dewitt Allan Finley spent the last nine weeks of his life snowbound in his pickup truck, drinking water from melted snow, checking off the days on his calendar and writing letters attesting to his faith in God. "He has met my needs daily, and I'm alive, well and comforted," Mr. Finley wrote in a letter to his boss, Elmer Sieler, which was found with his body. "I have no control over my life. It's all in His hands."
Mr. Finley, a 56-year-old man from Kalispell, MT, disappeared on Nov. 14 during a sales trip in Oregon for a Kalispell camper company. His body was found on May 20 in the Coast Range of southwest Oregon.
Mr. Finley, who had spent most of his life in the Los Angeles area, had worked in the Northwest for several months. His boss said that as a relative newcomer he lacked the survival skills of the area's longtime residents.
The Missoulian newspaper of Missoula, MT, carried an account on Monday of Mr. Finley's final days. The paper described the letters, written on sheets from a legal pad, to his fiancee, children, other relatives and Mr. Sieler. The letters were left in sealed, stamped envelopes.
Mr. Finley checked off nine weeks on his calendar. He had water from melted snow but no food, the newspaper said.
In the letters, Mr. Finley said he had decided to take a scenic route from Coos Bay to Grants Pass, following a forest road that parallels the Rogue River, a location for the 1994 movie "River Wild" that featured Meryl Streep.
In the letter to Mr. Sieler, Mr. Finley described how his pickup, which had a camper attached, slid off a icy, single-lane mountain road and he decided to stop for the night. A three-day storm left the truck stuck in deep snow. Rather than trying to hike some 18 miles to Agness, the last town he had passed, Mr. Finley apparently decided to wait for someone to come by. He had not told anyone which route he planned to follow.
"He believed his chance was best there," Mr. Sieler said in an interview with The Missoulian.
The company sent out another salesman to search for Mr. Finley, put up posters offering a $5,000 reward and hired an airplane to fly over the area where he had last been seen.
Although Mr. Finley had no propane to operate the camper's furnace, he warmed himself with the truck's heater and used cushions and a bedspread to make a bed on the bench seat of the four-wheel-drive truck. The truck still had half a tank of diesel fuel when found.
In the letter to Mr. Sieler, written after a month in the mountains, Mr. Finley expressed serenity and faith, and a belief that he would still be rescued.
"If not, I'll see you in Glory," he wrote. "I know God will bless you and yours."
Finley, a healthy man of 56, probably could have walked out pretty easily.
But he was a believer. Finley was convinced that God would save him. For nine weeks he sat in his truck, meticulously marking off the days, and writing in his diary.
In the spring they found his body. He'd starved to death in his truck.
Today it is pretty easy to say that Finley was foolish for doing what he did. He could have made other choices, better ones, and he might have saved himself. Source
To me, this story seems intensely interesting. What I wouldn't give to read Finley's diary. However, as I understand, the pages were turned over to his family, who have never been forth coming with these documents for public view. Heck, it might even make a good movie.
It's quite clear that if Dewitt had just ventured out a few hundred feet, he almost surely would have been able to make it to safety, or have been rescued. Apparently, god helps those who help themselves, but not those who wait on his help. Or was it that Dewitt Finley just didn't wait long enough?
This brings up a question: Would you have tried to walk out, or would you have waited?