Pete frequently travels significant distances throughout Western Canada. Occasionally, he stops to pick up travellers to help pass the time. He finds this creates opportunities to share the gospel.
One day, as Pete was driving along the highway, he suddenly felt an urge to check if he had Scriptures handy. As he glanced upward again, he noticed a person standing on the side of the road, thumb out, shoulders slumped, clearly requesting a ride. He pushed open the door to find a young lady standing calmly. Pete said a quiet prayer, knowing he usually didn't offer rides to females travelling alone.
“Are you comfortable with this?” He asked gently. The girl didn’t respond. She had already begun to unlatch the back door and toss her travel bag inside.
Pete spoke again, “So, where are you headed?” Without hesitation, the girl confidently informed Pete she was hoping to get to Banff.
As the two started off, conversation quickly ensued. This stranger's name was Hannah and she had just celebrated her 17th birthday. Hannah was quite open about her life. She rambled on for over an hour about how she had run away from her parents’ home in Ontario and had been drifting aimlessly from job to job for the past three years. In the spirit of openness, Pete also talked about his past, his wife, their adopted children, and how his family isn't afraid to share God’s love.
As they came to the end of their journey Pete grabbed a New Testament. “I have a gift for you...” He placed the Bible in his new friend’s hands and proceeded to tell her she has a Heavenly Father who loves her.
Hannah listened intently as she gripped the little gospel book. Then saying nothing, she tucked it in her backpack.
By that time, it was nearing lunch. “Let me buy you a bite before we part ways.” Pete offered. Hannah agreed and Pete pulled off the highway toward a local restaurant. As they were waiting for their food, Hannah suddenly looked up, curiously. “Since you think that little book is so important, have you memorized any of it? Like... are you able to recite any part?”
At first, Pete’s mind went blank. He had attended Sunday School since he was 4 and had even gone to a Christian high school, but was so taken off guard, he hesitated to respond.
“He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake...” Pete began. “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for You are close beside me...” He hoped Psalm 23 would bring comfort to her restless mind. Then remembering John 3:16, Pete recited a few familiar verses to help explain Jesus’ sacrifice and how His love is so vast, no one can outrun it. This really seemed to calm Hannah’s heart.
As the two finally parted shortly after, Hannah promised she would read the Scripture. Pete couldn't help but think that even though he would never know the full impact of that day or those Bible verses in her life, he rests assured a seed was planted. He knows God has since watered what was begun in her heart that day. And for as long Hannah may run, she will never be too far from God.