John Wayne: Did You Know?

The Power of Goodness

Most people know John Wayne, the handsome cowboy with the tall, white hat. But what you might not know is how a young girl impacted his life before his death.

Robert Schuller's teenage daughter, Cindy, was in a motorcycle accident and had to have her leg amputated. Mr. Wayne was a big fan of Robert Schuller, and having heard about his daughter, John Wayne wrote this letter to Cindy:

Dear Cindy,

Sorry to hear about your accident. Hope you will be all right.

~John Wayne

The note was delivered to her and she decided she wanted to write John Wayne in reply...

Dear Mr. Wayne,

I got your note. Thanks for writing to me. I like you very much. I am going to be all right because Jesus is going to help me. Mr. Wayne, do you know Jesus? I sure hope you know Jesus, Mr. Wayne, because I cannot imagine Heaven being complete without John Wayne being there. I hope if you don't know Jesus, that you will give your heart to Jesus right now. See you in Heaven.


She put the letter in an envelope and sealed it, writing across the front: John Wayne. A friend of her father's came in to visit her and, seeing worry on her face, he asked her what she was doing. She looked up and said, "I just wrote a letter to John Wayne, but I don't know where to send it."

"That's funny," the friend said. "I'm having dinner with him tonight at the Newport Club. Give it to me and I will give it to him."

That evening, there were twelve of them sitting around the table for dinner. They were laughing and cutting up when the man happened to reach into his pocket and remembered the letter. He took it out and tossed it to John Wayne, sitting at the end of the table. "Hey, Duke, I was in to see Schuller's daughter today and she asked me to give you this letter."

Mr. Wayne opened the letter and read as the other men continued that conversation. Then, someone noticed Wayne's bent head and moisture on his cheeks. He paused, stunned, and asked, "Hey, Duke, what's that matter?"

He lifted his head. "I want to read you this letter." He read it aloud...and then began to weep.

Finally folding the letter up, he pointed to the man who delivered Cindy's words. "You go tell that little girl that right now, in this restaurant, right here, John Wayne gives his heart to Jesus Christ and I will see her in Heaven."

Three weeks later, John Wayne died.

I don't know if this story is true, but it blessed my heart. It reminds me of the people in my life, who I love dearly, and how Heaven will not be complete without them. It reminds me to bring good into their lives whenever I have the chance--so that they might see a glimpse of the love their Heavenly Father holds for them.

Bring goodness. That's all Christians are required to do. Not condemn. Not scold. Not lecture or ridicule. Just bring goodness.


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