Journey of Fear

Seeing Beyond the Spoon


While I was packing up to leave on my last morning in Hoosier National Forest, Mrs. Davidson approached me. She handed me a small collection of bright, multi-colored pieces of paper. It was a beautifully handwritten letter. In it, she provided words of encouragement for my journey that have meant more to me than she could possibly have known. But included in this letter was also a list.

At one point, I had told everyone that I was trying to see life from different perspectives – particularly from theirs. I wanted to see through the eyes of someone who hadn’t been raised with a silver spoon. In the list that she had written was a series of tasks that I should try along my travels, if I truly wanted to understand what life was like for those less fortunate than I. I didn’t see it then, but this list aligns almost perfectly with my core goal for this Journey of Fear.

While I’ll keep most of her letter solely to myself, I feel like the list that she compiled is something that needs to be shared as widely as possible, so that we all might gain another perspective on the world and the people we share it with. If you were to attempt any of the following trials, as I have along this Journey, then I can promise that you will begin to see a side of life that you never knew existed. You will also give yourself the opportunity to learn what it means to experience humility – and to understand the benefits that come with it.

The List:

  • Find a Walmart Supercenter or a grocery store. Safeways are pretty good. Get you a Sharpie and a piece of cardboard. On it write: “Blessings Needed, God Bless.” On another piece of cardboard write, “Travelin and Broke, God Bless.” On another piece of cardboard write, “Hungry.” And last but not least, on another piece of cardboard write, “Out of Gas.” This is what you would call flying a sign. I feel like you should fly each of these signs at different locations. In doing this you will see the kindness of people and you will also see how unkind people can be. When you fly a sign, you must be at a stop sign so you are not in the way of traffic. This experience is very humbling.
  • Another thing I hope you will do to add to your experience is this: Get you a backpack and park away from a truck stop. Walk to the front of the truck stop and find a place to just sit on your pack. Do this for about an hour or so. You will see the kindness of people.
  • Another thing I hope you will do: Go to a restaurant, ask to speak with a manager. Tell the manager you are hungry and have no money. Is there any way they could possibly help. You will see kindness and you will be very humbled.
  • Along the way you will run across Dirty Kids, Rainbow Family, Train Hoppers, Homebums, Travelers, Trustafarians, Rubber Tramps, Joggers, Hippies, Hitchers, Hikers, Street Kids. Learn from each of them.
  • Another mission: NO CHEATING! On this day of your journey, the entire day – from the time you open your eyes to the time they close – you cannot wear shoes or socks! Everything you do on this day is shoe and sock free.
  • Next mission: On this day you can only catch and gather the food you eat. That means go get yourself a fishing pole! Do this in a place where fruit trees are plenty. Oregon is a good place for this. Blackberries, apples and plums are everywhere in Oregon.
  • Next mission: Very simple. Sleep under the stars.

*Note: In all that you do, pray before and thank the Lord afterwards.

Off into the World

Shortly after she had given me this note, I made my rounds to everyone at the campsite, of whom I’d made such amazing friends with, and said goodbye. It was somewhat difficult – if you ever travel like this, you’ll see that the bonds you form with people are so much deeper than the superficial ones often shared with coworkers and acquaintances. As Mrs. Davidson had again reminded me in her letter, you don’t simply make friends on the road – you form families.

Soon, I was back on the highway – again smiling from ear-to-ear – ready for the learning to begin.

Hoosier Cave 2


  • Mrs Davidson

    I just love you honey. I hope in doing all those things .. You grew .. You took something from it and learned. Because in doing all of the above you are living in such ways some were forced into.. Others chose to.. It opens your eyes to what’s happening in our country.. It shows you that there is still good in this world.. It makes you think twice before passing judgement. Much love Ben.

  • Mrs Davidson

    I just have one more question Mr Ben did you spend the day without shoes or socks? If so what happened? Id like to hear that story. Lol. I’d like to hear about your experience with each “mission” as well.

  • Carol D'Amico

    I am thankful to the Davidson’s for loving my son. I wish I could write the amazing things I have seen in you even as a small child. (Helping a one year old that was afraid and taking his hand at a new daycare center on your second day there. You were 3 years old. I(I only let you there 2 days a week, I don’t like daycare centers but “Miss Chekettas wasn’t too bad”.

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