The Wise Man of Buffalo
This past Christmas Eve, 2022, in the bleak midwinter, during the blizzard in Buffalo that claimed at least 30 lives, a man named Jay Withey became stranded in his car.
Snow on snow on snow.
Jay was out, not because he needed to be, but because his friend called him for help. His friend was himself stranded in the snow. His friend told him that Jay was the only person he knew that would try and come get him. He was right. Jay did come. Jay didn't need to be out that night; He was out because there was need.
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part...
Before Jay's truck was stuck, he saw others in need. A young man walking, alone, in the snow, with a light jacket. Jay didn't need to pick him up. But he did.
Stuck in the snow, and quickly running out of gas to keep warm, there was a knock on the window. A woman named Mary was looking for shelter.
On the night of Christmas Eve, 2022, a man named “J” went looking for shelter for Mary and a young man. But as on that first Christmas Eve, they were turned away. Jay somehow hiked through the snow upon snow to around a dozen houses. But, “there was no room for them.”
They were turned away.
They spent the night in the car.
The next morning, with their fuel almost gone, and word from the police that they couldn’t reach the stranded travelers, Jay searched through the map on his phone. He found a nearby school.
It was locked of course, but Jay was able to break a window, crawl in, and return to open the front door for his new found friends.
If I were a Shepherd I would bring a lamb…
I suspect a wry smile broke out on Jay’s face as he heard the school alarm blazing, wishing that the police could come and find him.
But of course, no one was coming.
So, Jay decided he would bring other people to him. You see, during the march to the school, Jay spotted many other stranded motorists.
Sometimes, on Christmas, the inn-keepers of the world turn the Marys and Josephs and Jays away. And sometimes, the Jays of the world bring the inn to everyone else. Jay later said, “My mission was just to keep going out and grabbing as many people as I can and to just keep going. I just kept walking, and I walked until I cried and I couldn’t walk any further.”
Yet what I can I give Him, Give my heart…
Jay found and led 24 people to the school. And two dogs.
In the bleak midwinter of Christmas, 2022, there was again a familiar Christmas scene to behold.
Animals. A woman named Mary. A man named Jay. Travelers with no place to stay.
And one very, very wise man.