This is an exchange of comments between Belinda Thorne, formerly from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and Tim Shey, author of High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America. These comments were taken from Belinda's post "Remember Lot's Wife" on her blog Grace and Truth:
Belinda: Tim, why is your book called High Plains Drifter?
Tim: Now THAT is a very good question. I think that in all of my years of hitchhiking around the United States and in all of the years that High Plains Drifter has been available via manuscript, book, Internet Archive or blog, no one has ever asked that question.
I named my book High Plains Drifter after Clint Eastwood’s film High Plains Drifter (1973). I don’t know how many times I have seen that film. I absolutely identify with the main character played by Eastwood (the Stranger) who rides into town and kills some bad guys and then burns the town to the ground.
The Stranger in the film at one time was the town marshal: he was whipped to death by some bad guys who were paid by the owners of the local mining operation. To me, it reminds me of the death of Jesus Christ. There is a scene in the film where the townspeople are having a meeting at the local church and you see this Bible verse on the bulletin board: Isaiah 53: 3-4. The town marshal was rejected by the townspeople and then killed; I have been rejected by family, friends and church people because of my testimony, so I have been alone most of my life (that’s why I identify with the Stranger in the film).
I have a film review on my High Plains Drifter blog that you might like to read: “Clint Eastwood’s film High Plains Drifter (1973)”.
[Here I posted some links pertaining to my book High Plains Drifter.]
I hope these links aren’t overkill to your question, but as far as I can remember, no one has ever asked why I titled my book High Plains Drifter, so I am pleasantly surprised and a little bit flattered.
Belinda: No, not overkill at all, thank you for answering my question.
Two things have stood out to me. One where you said in your short story that you like wide open spaces. And two, hitchhiking you are on the fringes of society.
I’ll tell you why I asked you that question. Last night I was praying. Praying about what to do. It’s so hard here now. Can you imagine, you who like open spaces, that we are in home prison now for 23 hours a day. Allowed out for one hour of exercise or one of us is allowed to go get essentials. And our Premier has extended this lockdown for an indefinite period till we get to less than 5 cases. I am now convinced he is a madman, full of demons.
Of course I am not sticking to these ridiculous rules. I’m doing what God leads me to. My husband and I have been running an underground church in our home for months, because church is now banned. We have mainly men come, those who’ve just left rehab and prison and we sing and praise and read the Word. They park up the road and walk to our house in the dark and sneak in one by one. It’s the only thing that’s kept me going during this dark time.
So I’m praying last night and the Lord takes me to a cliff top and we look down together over a dusty plain where there is dirty, tattooed, fighting people. He has shown me this before. A few weeks ago He showed me it and said “this is the land I am giving you”.
But last night He just showed me it again and I thought how we were on a high plain looking out over.
Then your book title from nowhere came into my head “High Plains Drifter”.
And I felt to ask you why.
The fringes of society, the outcasts who God has called us to. It has always been them. We can never fit in a church. We fit with the homeless and mentally ill and drug addicts. No one else I know is doing anything at the moment. All the churches are quiet and obediently closed and it makes me sick and angry.
I love your Shiloh poem, wow. The line about Cain bludgeoning Abel to death….
Anyway I am going to buy your book, it’s on Amazon yes?
Thank you for reading this, I don’t know what’s happening to me at the moment, it’s all very strange but I know my Lord and I trust Him.
Bless you Tim
Tim: I think it is VERY interesting that you asked about the title of my book on a post that has the title “Remember Lot’s Wife”. If you watch Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter, at the end of the film, the Stranger burns the town of Lago to the ground (God’s Wrath). The Scripture “remember Lot’s wife” is alluding to the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah by fire and brimstone (God’s Wrath). So maybe eventually the Lord will lead you out of Melbourne into the wide open spaces (the Outback?) before God’s Wrath hits Melbourne? You are led by the Holy Ghost; the Lord will reveal to you what you need to do.
About my book on Amazon. I think there is one copy left, but Amazon is charging an exorbitant price for it (probably because it is the last copy). You can read High Plains Drifter for free on my blog.
Yes, I am definitely on the fringes of society. The Lord led me out of the church back in 1991. The Lord has had me alone for most of my life. The Lord’s thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I know that the Lord has you and your family in the palm of His hand (I am thinking of Psalm 91).
Belinda: You make a very good connection there . . .I had not connected that! I am going to watch that Clint Eastwood movie.
Yes I believe the Lord is leading us out of Melbourne. I am praying for His specific guidance as to where, but we are quite sure we are going.
Thank you for your link to your book. I look forward to reading it.
I have a scripture for you Tim:
Micah 4:6-8 ["In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem."]
Jesus was an outcast. If we follow Him we also will be. You have to be an outcast to intercede for the outcasts.
You have blessed me greatly and I pray God will bless you greatly in return.
[A few weeks later . . .]
Belinda: Hi Tim. I am reading your book. I’ve just finished chapter 7. I love this chapter.I felt to share with you this:
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
To be so trained by the Spirit, to be sensitive to Him, this is it. This is everything. Just some thoughts that have struck me reading your book.