Grace Under Pressure: Gary Wilson And The Jesus Delivery

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Author’s Note: Grace Under Pressure is an ongoing series of posts honoring everyday people who courageously make positive differences in their own lives and consequently in the lives of others. It is my own personal affirmation that unexpected heroes live among us and that their service is quiet but unshakable proof that virtue really is its own reward  – and ours, too. You can read all of the Grace Under Pressure series by going to the blog search box and typing in the word “grace.” 

o-HOMELESS-MAN-DELIVERS-BABY-facebookEight-months pregnant, Keaton Mason felt that unmistakable feeling around 9:30 p.m. while sitting in her home in Oklahoma City. Summoning her fiance’ and grabbing her bug-out bag, the pair jumped into their white Honda and headed to the hospital. The timing seemed fine as they were only a short drive from the facility, but Baby Tatum had another plan in mind. Pulling off at the first exit they could find on I-40, they screeched to a stop just beside some semis at a large truck stop. The young couple was panicked and a small crowd of the helpless began to form. No one had medical training and no one around had any expertise past calling the 911.

No one that is except Gary Wilson. Wilson, who was homeless and hitchhiking from Montana to warmer environs in Florida, came over to see just what the commotion was about. Seeing the fear and frustration in the eyes of Keaton, Wilson jumped into the backseat and assessed the scene. What he found was a four-weeks early preemie that was blue from anoxia and unconscious. The umbilical cord was wrapped serpent-like around the baby’s throat and both Keaton and Wilson were fully aware of the danger. “My baby’s blue, my baby’s blue … she’s not breathing,” she screamed into the cell phone held near her mouth.

Wilson couldn’t bear the fettle and settled in near the new mother. Unwrapping the cord, he freed the baby’s neck from a sure death grip and then tied off the umbilicalis. He massaged the newborn’s back until normal respiration occurred, all the while assuring the desperate parents that things would “be alright.” Baby Tatum was returned to her mother’s arms as paramedics arrived. Gary Wilson faded into the crowd at the truck stop.

“He did everything right,” said paramedic Sandra Lesperance, who responded to the scene. Keaton was finally relieved and expressed gratitude to her savior, “He kept me pretty clam actually. He kept saying ‘everything’s ok. She’s breathing.’”

No one got a real good description of Wilson who was last seen walking along the highway with a hand-lettered sign reading “MEMPHIS.” Truck stop employee Waneva Morris recalls, “He had the long hair, the long beard.” Then this lady in the buckle of the Bible Belt added, “I would describe him as kind of looking like Jesus.”

Besides a few on-scene thanks and a free hot meal, no recognition or accolade went to Gary Wilson. In fact, no one’s sure what ever happened to the homeless man who just decided to get involved. What medical training he obtained in another lifetime was never explained. His cool, calm demeanor in the face of real crisis is as mysterious as the man.

What is sure is that humans are a curious lot. A man with all the attributes most find valuable from both an economic and character standpoint is hitchhiking the roadways in relative poverty and obscurity. If by necessity, it says a lot about how we judge and value our fellow man. If by choice, I like to think Gary Wilson’s lying on a beach somewhere and basking in both the Florida sun and the unspoken satisfaction of saving a life for the pure goodness of it.

Tatum’s almost 2-years-old and doing well. He parents tease her about being delivered by Jesus and who knows? Even to these skeptical eyes, the birth does seem … well … miraculous.


~Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

By the way and for better or worse, the views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not necessarily those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays of art are solely the author’s decision and responsibility. No infringement of intellectual property rights is intended and will be remedied upon notice from the owner. Fair use is however asserted for such inclusions of quotes, excerpts, photos, art, and the like.



66 thoughts on “Grace Under Pressure: Gary Wilson And The Jesus Delivery”

  1. Paul wrote “If I remember correctly, Jesus tried to stay out of politics.”

    You do not remember correctly.

    He threw the money lenders out of the temple, even though he was not the manager of it.

    He declared that it is more difficult for a wealthy man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

    One can just imagine his opinion of wealthy people — e.g. Fox News, the Christian Right, Rush Limbaugh, etc. — who claim to be devout Christians.

    Annie’s correct.

  2. Paul, read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Helping those in need is something Jesus advocated, I thought you’d know that.

    1. saucy – none of those had to do with politics. And when people cause their own problems, there is no Christian need to help them. Besides, there are very few Christian or Jewish liberals. It is hypocritical to try to bring Jesus into all of this if one is either agnostic or atheistic. It would be better to ask what would Mao do, or what would Stalin do, or Pol Pot?

  3. Anyone can be like Jesus, maybe we just need to ask ourselves more often, “What would Jesus do?”. Would he protest a bus load of immigrant children, yelling for them to be deported? Nah, I doubt it.

    Great story of human kindness.

    1. Annie – let’s talk about what Jesus would do. Would you do what Jesus would do? Would you became either a good Jew or Christian? Depends on how you see the role of Jesus. If I remember correctly, Jesus tried to stay out of politics. He would not have said anything about the politics of illegal aliens.

  4. You are the glass half full person in the lineup, mespo. I always look forward to the next chapter in this series. Thanks for your optimism.

  5. Thanks for this Mark. Remarkable people walk among us everywhere, we just don’t know who they are. Sometimes they don’t know it themselves until the occasion arises for them to rise head and shoulders above the rest.

  6. I like the story very much. Some folks take to the road as a hitch hiker to explore the world more than they would experience if they were driving their own vehicle. I have trekked around Europe, India, Nepal, on freak buses, trains, backpack, bicycle and cheap taxi. The last being the mode across the Sinai when they opened it up to travel and ingress and egress into Israel from Egypt in 1980. This guy could have been an ER guy. He could be Jesus. To be well rounded, both religiously and otherwise, I would call him Hey Zeus.

  7. Did Gary touch the hem of his garment, in the time of Jacob’s trouble?

  8. Elaine M:

    Don’t you love people who do good expecting nothing in return — not even recognition for it. It reassures you that people truly do have the capacity to be virtuous.

  9. Great story Mespo. (“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” – Heb. 13.2)

  10. Great story, Mark! With all the bad news we hear every day, it’s nice to be reminded that there are good people in this world.

  11. Mark, very valuable series. There is always greater goodness in this word than there is evil, and he is certainly blessed he who can see its expressions wherever they are featured. And great writing too. Are you a novelist?

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