The following letter was emailed to Don Greene, administrator of the Faith Motorsports Fan Forums, by a member of the media who was conducting interviews of race fans at a recent race. We have removed the names of the media representative and fan but wanted Morgan’s fans to share in this testimony. Now you know the real reason Morgan continues to race at age 69!
Thanks, Don Greene
I wanted to share a story with you that was passed to me while I was doing some fan research on a piece. I was talking to fans at Kansas Speedway about drivers that had gone the extra mile for fans.
I had been talking to several people about the difference their favorite driver had made in their life and how. NASCAR fan’s put a great deal of loyalty and faith in their personal favorite driver. That connection as you are probably aware creates opportunities that a lot of sports personalities don’t get. It allows the drivers to make a difference in that person’s life whether they are aware or not.
I noticed there was a young lady that was standing patiently to my right. I turned and asked her, “Who is your favorite driver and how has he made a difference in your life?” She looked at me and said, “Morgan Shepherd.” I had gotten a lot of responses but Morgan had not been among them. However, I was familiar with his ministry and very familiar with his record and his talents.
“How did he make a difference in your life?” I asked her. She looked at me and said, “I met Morgan in Iowa two years ago. I was recovering from a domestic violence relationship. I was scared and I felt totally alone and very afraid all the time. I was in a dark place. A hole that I couldn’t seem to crawl out of. I had always loved racing so I had decided the weekend might help me find some peace at least for awhile. At the hotel that evening I noticed a man that looked very familiar to me. I couldn’t quite place the face. But he was familiar to me. I watched him talk to people and interact with people as he kind of worked his way through the crowd. He started to walk past me towards the door and he stopped and turned around and looked at me and came back. He held out his hand and said “Hi I am Morgan Shepherd.” I was shocked that he came back. And more shocked that he introduced himself to me. I was nobody. He was a very famous race car driver. I shook his hand and said ‘Thank You for stopping to say hello.’ He said it was a priviledge and asked if he could help me. I was confused at first until I realized that there were tears running down my face. I had gotten a text message from my ex with his latest threat. I was so use to crying I didn’t even realize I was. I don’t know why I felt that this stranger would care. But somehow I knew he would and I told him my story. He put his arm around me and said I have a friend that can help you. He will never leave you and he will always be on your side. Can I introduce you? I was not sure that I believed that. No one had ever been just on my side and never left me. Morgan started telling me about Jesus and how he felt my pain and he understood my fear. He told me about his promise and his strength. He told me that I didn’t have to prove myself to Jesus. I didn’t have to prove that I wasn’t ugly or worthless or any of the things I had been told for so long. He told me Jesus already knew they weren’t true. And all I had to do was ask him to come into my life and be my friend and savior and he would and I would see things start to change. It was a light in the darkness and I asked him how. He took my hands and we prayed together. I know people don’t understand me when I say my life changed that very moment. They look at me and say sure it did. But it really did. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I slept that night for the first time in a long time and right before the green flag, I got a text message from my brother that my ex had been arrested on assault charges and was in jail so I could enjoy the race knowing he would not show up. My life literally turned around. I don’t have any more money my job isn’t anymore pleasant. But I walk in the light of day now. I don’t hide and I am not afraid because of the new friend that Morgan Shepard helped me bring into my life. He will never remember me from that night and I know that. But trust me when I say that Jesus sent me an angel that afternoon and he really does drive a race car at over a hundred miles an hour.”
When she finished, I was touched beyond any story I had heard all day. This was beyond hero admiration. This was truly a man who gave of himself and offered his help and his faith to a woman who could give him nothing in return but to say thank you. She didn’t have the financial resources to help him. She didn’t have contacts that could sponsor his efforts or off set his expenses. All she had to offer was thank you and to tell her story. And that was enough for Morgan Shepherd. As I thought about it while I was writing the piece, it dawned on me that the truest of champions on the track might never win the trophy in victory lane. But he gave more trophies than any competitor would ever win. Morgan Shepherd gave hope and faith to those who were struggling and “in a dark place.”
When things get tight and tricky, which in this economy is inevitable, maybe you could share with Mr. Shepherd the great gift that he gave to a stranger. And let him know that there are truly angels among us and he is one.