The following story is fiction but is based upon the real life
influence of a man named Warner Gillion. Warner sailed away to heaven in
November, 1964. Warner seemed to be the most ordinary of men, until you
got to know him.
Louie always sat at the end of the counter in the Wayside Café, in
Little Beam, North Carolina. Louie had sat at that spot every morning
for breakfast and every noon for lunch for over twenty years. People
loved Louie. Louie looked like Danny Devito and Louie could do an
imitation of Danny's character from Taxi that made you think Louie really
was Louie from the old TV series. But this Louie was no Louie from
This Louie at the Wayside Café was the rock of the community. Louie
made the café what it was. So magnetic was Louie, that people would
come from all over the country just to see and talk to Louie. Louie
didn't own the café but he could have. With the power and influence
Louie had over people, he could have owned a chain of anything.
One day Louie didn't show up at the Wayside. People were shocked.
People were stunned. Louie had always been there. The next day, Louie
didn't show up again. For a whole week, Louie didn't come in for
breakfast or lunch.
People got concerned. Someone called a meeting at the fire station to
see if anyone knew anything about Louie. Two hundred and twenty-three
people, not counting kids, showed up at the fire station that day. The
trucks had to be taken outside, the doors had to be left up, and there
were still people standing outside the building because not everyone
could fit inside the station. As the meeting unfolded, questions were
asked. Had anyone seen Louie? No answer. Did anyone know where Louie
lived? No answer. Where did Louie work? No answer. Was Louie married? No
answer. Did Louie have children? No answer. What was Louie's last name?
No answer. Was "Louie" really Louie's name? No answer.
Remarkably, no one knew anything about Louie. No one knew where he was
from, where he was born, where he went to school, or any of the other
common kinds of information you know about a person. In this group of
over two hundred people, many of whom had known Louie for over twenty
years, no one knew anything about him. How could they not know? How
could all these people who knew Louie and who loved him, not know
anything about him? What was most striking was that as people talked
among themselves, they all discovered Louie never forgot a birthday
because every year Louie sent everyone a birthday card including the
kids. They all got a Christmas card, an Easter card, an anniversary
card, and other holiday cards including the children. Louie had given
all of their children, and even some of the adults, birthday parties at
the Wayside. It wasn't just a few of these people who received Louie's
kindness, it was everyone! In addition, Louie had helped people out in
sometimes incredible ways. He gave people money, visited them in the
hospital, helped them find jobs, and had helped smooth out rough spots
in their relationships. It came out at the meeting, unbeknownst before,
that Louie apparently even had a healing touch because some people who
he had touched when they were sick, claimed his touch had healed them.
The group fell silent as they began to realize they knew nothing
about Louie. Then people started realizing something else about Louie.
It seems that when Louie talked, he always talked about them and never
about himself. No one knew anything about Louie because Louie was always
so interested in others and communicated so much concern and love for
others, no one ever asked Louie about his own life. People didn't even
know what kind of car he drove. As the meeting progressed, people
decided to put up posters and get the word out about Louie coming up
The Little Beam chief of police and a couple deputies were at the
meeting because they knew Louie and said since it had been a week since
Louie came up missing, they would start an official police search for
Another week went by and not a sign of Louie. Then a month went by.
About six weeks after Louie went missing, a guy stopped by the Wayside
Café for supper. Louie's picture was at every table. The guy places his
order and asks the waitress about the drawing of Louie. The guy tells
the waitress that the man in the picture is not named Louie, but Frank.
And Frank, it seems, sits at the same place in a diner, in a small town
in California. Frank, according to this customer at the Wayside, has
been sitting at the counter in California for over twenty years. So
influential is this man named Frank, that people come from all over the
country just to talk to him and be around him. At this, the waitress
calls the chief of police. A few minutes later, the chief and his two
deputies stop by the Wayside to talk with the customer about Louie and
the guy named Frank. The name of the diner in California is "The
Stop Spot" located in White Beach, CA.
After talking to the guy at the Wayside, the chief gets back to the
office and calls the diner in California. Oddly, the owner of the diner
in California says that Frank hasn't been seen in over a month and
people are looking for him. Everyone in White Beach is looking for
Frank. Even the police in White Beach are looking for Frank. Not because
Frank did anything wrong, it is just that Frank is one of those persons
you would never want to really live without.
The chief of police in Little Beam contacts the police in White
Beach, California. Through an exchange of faxes with the police in White
Beach, a drawing of Frank was faxed to the police chief in Little Beam
and a drawing of Louie was faxed to California. From the images on the
faxes, the two missing men, Louie and Frank, could have been twins.
After receiving the faxes, the Little Beam chief of police then called
the police chief in White Beach.
Being the professionals they are, the two police officers converse a
bit about the missing people, and the identical appearance. The police
chief in White Beach suddenly gets emotional and says that finding Frank
is personal with him because Frank is closer to the chief and his family
than members of the chief's own family. The police chief in Little Beam
relay's the same sentiment about Louie.
Then the White Beach police chief sort of gets a little hesitant to
say much more, then suddenly blurts out there is a third man named
Roger, also missing, from Crosspoint, Texas. And the third man named
Roger from Texas looks just like the other two men. As the conversation
goes on, it seems the stories of Louie, and Frank, and the Texas guy
named Roger, are all the same. No one knows anything about them.
Everyone loves them. People come from miles around to see them and talk
to them. They are like magnets to other people. But no one knows
anything at all about them. They all appeared at the same time. They all
disappeared at the same time.
About two months after Louie disappeared, a minister, a priest, and a
rabbi stopped by the Wayside. After they finished eating they asked to
speak with the owner. The owner comes out to the table and the three
clergymen ask the owner to sit down. After the owner is seated, the
three clergymen tell the owner they all know Louie and that Louie is OK.
Louie wants everyone to know that he is aware they are looking for him
but Louie wants everyone to know he won't be back. It seems Louie had to
move on to another location. The three men don't say where Louie is or
just exactly what Louie is doing, only that Louie is OK and that no one
needs to worry about him. The owner of the Wayside begins to ask all
kinds of questions about Louie but the clergymen have no specific
answers other than to say Louie is OK and he is in another location.
Before they leave, the three clergymen emphasize that Louie has sort
of a final request to the people in Little Beam. Louie's final request
is that everyone give away to others what Louie gave to them.
As the clergymen get up to leave, the waitress heard them remark
about how their next stops are in California and Texas, and that we all
have our purpose to fulfill in life.
Ephesians 5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as
dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.