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. Annie wrote “I doubt Jesus would not forgive someone who causes their own problems. Look how he treated the prostitute. He showed mercy when the others wanted to stone her. No?”


    Not to mention at the Crucifixion when one of the two thieves being crucified with him asked to be remembered in Heaven. That thief clearly caused his own problems, yet Jesus forgave him.

    These faux Christians here just make me laugh. Their only god is money.

    Paul wrote “Jesus said nothing”

    You tried to BS me and it didn’t work. Tee hee.

    1. saucy – there was no attempt to BS you. Just an attempt for you to realize that your example was wrong.

  2. Karen S wrote “In the story of the Good Samaritan, the victim did not cause his own problems.”

    Parable: a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.

    It’s a parable, the same thing as a fable. It was not meant to be taken literally. Jesus was NOT saying that Christians only have a duty to assist people who were beaten, robbed, and stripped. He was explaining that Christians have a duty to assist those less fortunate than them.

    Here’s your homework assignment. Attend a Lutheran service. Ask the pastor what the Parable of the Good Samaritan meant. His explanation will not jive with your narrow interpretation.

    Annie was correct from the start. Even if it mattered, the immigrant children did not cause their own problem. If anything, the U.S. caused their problem via its citizens taking advantage of illegal immigrants in meat-packing plants, landscaping, restaurants, and domestic service.

  3. I doubt Jesus would not forgive someone who causes their own problems. Look how he treated the prostitute. He showed mercy when the others wanted to stone her. No?

  4. Karen,

    The children entering the US are coming from countries–mostly Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatamela–which are in Central America–not South America

  5. But the Bible does teach infinite forgiveness and compassion, and helping those who have lost their way.

    Aesop’s fables have many lessons about being responsible, people being the architect of their own demise, and helping those who help themselves (The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Crane, Hercules and the Waggoner, come to mind . . .)

    I feel great empathy with anyone who wants to come to America to have a better life. I just want them to follow the rules to do so . . . And I do not want the criminals that ride the tide in with them.

  6. All of these tributes to “what would Jesus do” are interesting, but let’s think for a moment.

    Can we take the entire population of South America this year? What would happen if that many people entered? Our infrastructure would literally collapse, we wouldn’t have the funds to support them all, it would kill the job market, and we would import a lot of criminals in the mix.

    So if we can agree that there is a quantity we can absorb in our infrastructure and economy, and a list of criteria we would want to screen for, such as criminal history, and note and treat illnesses such as antibiotic TB, then we can agree on the very points that make legal immigration good and illegal immigration bad.

    1. saucy – Jesus said nothing because why would he say anything about those who were stupid enough to cause their own problems?

  7. I would always want to rescue people in trouble, making a crossing, but then I would deport them.

    There are fliers in Mexico and South American instructing everyone on how to claim asylum. They give information on how to work the system.

    We are not required to allow anyone to break our laws to enter. The immigration courts are already years behind on hearing cases, and only 95% of people actually show up for their hearing. That’s ridiculous, and a drain on our resources.

    I, like many people, support legal immigration but not illegal immigration.

  8. A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”

    The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only 16 chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”

  9. Whereas Ben Franklin does indeed agree with Paul. From his Poor Richard’s Almanac:

    At the working man’s house hunger looks in but dares not enter.

    God gives all things to industry (a/k/a, God helps those who help themselves).

    O Lazy-Bones! Dost thou think God would have given thee Arms and Legs, if he had not design’d thou should’st use them.

    Keep thou from the Opportunity, and God will keep thee from the Sin.

  10. Paul wrote “would you like to point out the part of the Bible that requires either Jews or Christians to help people who cause their own problems?”

    What is so infuriating about you and other glibertarians is that you are completely ignorant of the facts, yet you act as if you possess a monopoly on the truth.

    Luke 10:25-37, The Parable of the Good Samaritan:

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'”

    “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    1. saucy – and what did Jesus say to the man who put his hand into the fire of the furnace? That is what we are talking about when we are talking about illegals crossing the desert. They assumed the risk of the desert. We do not rescue them for free. We do not rescue citizens for free either.

  11. Fox News is not a religious organization. Where do these urban legends get legs? It’s interesting to read the impressions from people who either never watch Fox, or maybe see a tiny snippet here or there in a clip, and then make broad proclamations.

  12. I love a happy ending. So glad the baby survived and thrived. But where is Gary Wilson? It would be wonderful if he could be found. Find out why he’s on the street and try to find a happy ending for him, too.

    Love this series. Thanks for sharing these stories . . .

  13. Paul C:

    Of course nothing in the Bible says that, but Fox News says the Bible says that so what’s a fundie ideologue to do?

    1. mespo – you have a cite to Fox News saying the Bible saying that?

  14. Injecting politics into this perfect story is a sin. There are PLENTY of opportunities on all the other threads for that. Some folks are not even half empty people, they are the darkness in our culture. I just thank God I don’t have those type people in my life. But, it’s not by accident. I avoid them and eliminate them from my personal life. It takes diligence and tough choices sometimes. But, we must protect the lightness in our hearts and souls. Otherwise the darkness will prevail. Gary Wilson understands that.

  15. Paul wrote “And when people cause their own problems, there is no Christian need to help them”

    So you admit you have never actually read the New Testament. Annie’s suggestion to read the Parable of the Good Samaritan is a good one.

    Your attitude originates from Ben Franklin, especially his Poor Richard’s Almanac. It never ceases to amaze me that most Americans cannot distinguish between Jesus and the guy on the $100 bill.

    “It is hypocritical to try to bring Jesus into all of this if one is either agnostic or atheistic”

    You, Dredd, and others have assumed a great deal of my personality, but none of you has gotten it correct yet. And I could be simply playing a combination of devil’s advocate, amateur historian, and Bible scholar.

    P.S. I’ve taken comparative religions courses (plural) and actually read much of the Bible.

    1. saucy – would you like to point out the part of the Bible that requires either Jews or Christians to help people who cause their own problems? BTW, I have taught comparative religions.

  16. Annie:

    “Would he protest a bus load of immigrant children, yelling for them to be deported? Nah, I doubt it.”
    I like to think he would be too busy taking them food and medicine.

    1. mespo – I would like to think he would have been dead for some 2000 years.

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