Alaskan Man

Several months ago, a man walked into our store for a cup of coffee. There were no other customers in at the time, and I struck up a conversation with him. He was visiting from Alaska. Now we get a lot of visitors from all over the world in our store and have had many from Alaska, but this guy was different.

At about 5’3″ and about 100 pounds, what he lacks in stature he makes up for in personality. He is dressed rather like an Indiana Jones with khaki cargo pants, Eskimo boots, and trusty hat. He also wears two leather straps across his chest loaded with knives, phone, stop watch, and who knows what else.

I give him his coffee in his mug and he pulls out this big knife to squeeze honey onto and stir his coffee. But his arsenal doesn’t scare me. No, he has a quiet way about him and a ready smile.

I saw him a couple of times that week and then not again until recently. Then I got to see him a lot!

Alaskan Man came in almost every day. We would chit-chat, and I got to know a lot about him and him about us. Soon he was in a predicament. He needed a place to stay. We didn’t help him, but I often wondered “what would Jesus do?”

He still came back. His friendship was not based on our ability to help him. Over the next month, Alaskan Man came several times a week if not every day. Towards the end of his visit, he even came with us to church a couple of times. Once he even scrubbed our bathroom to help us get ready for an event. He brought me morel mushrooms that he had hunted in the woods. He gave the kids little tokens of his gratitude.

You might start thinking that maybe this man was a con man. Well, I thought he might be too. So I decided to do a little research on him. Every thing he told us was true. I even asked him questions that I could research out. All legit. He even offered once for me to talk to his wife in Alaska, but by then I knew he was the real deal.

At one point,  I thought to myself, what if this was Jesus? What if it is like the scripture says?

“Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.”

It isn’t very often that you meet someone as genuine and true as Alaskan Man. One Sunday, my pastor was preaching about the people God brings into your life. People that have a great impact. People that you would never have thought could influence you. I am honored and humbled to have known Alaskan Man, and I look forward to his return to the lower 48 some day.

May we all be so blessed to meet someone like Alaskan Man. And may we have the courage to trust and share our lives with them. Would you have?

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