Dose of Truth

Do your best each day

Tim Richards

Most of you who read my weekly columns do not know that my friend David Shaw helps me edit each column you read. This week Dave sent me an email he received from a friend which contained a remarkable story and suggested we share it with you our readers and I completely agreed.

Even if you are not interested in history, you may recognize the date, June 6, 1944. On that day, Private Robert C. Hillman joined 13,000 other American paratroopers when they parachuted over occupied France in the largest offensive of World War II. Hillman was a member of the famous 101st Airborne Division. He was from Manchester, Conn., and joined the army shortly after graduating from high school in 1942.

Early on that fateful day, he and thousands of other American, British, and Canadian airborne troops prepared to do their part in Operation Neptune. You may not recognize it by that name since we now simply call it D-Day. As he was performing a final inspection of his gear just before leaping from the aircraft and into the battle below, Hillman made a startling discovery. His parachute was manufactured, packed, and inspected by the Pioneer Parachute Company. That may not have meant anything to any other paratrooper, but it did to him because Pioneer was in his hometown.

NBC radio war correspondent, Wright Brown, was on the same troop transport with Hillman when he expressed to his fellow-paratroopers that he had total confidence in his parachute. Brown thought it was certainly helpful the young man was so confident as he prepared to jump, but the correspondent did not fully understand his assurance about the safety of his chute, so he asked Hillman. The private replied, “Because my mother works for the Pioneer Parachute Company, and her quality control inspection initials are on my chute!”

Hillman’s mother, like so many other American women supported the war effort by working in defense factories. One of those jobs was making the millions of parachutes for U. S. and Allied troops overseas. To say Hillman was unlikely to receive a chute inspected by his own mother was an understatement, but it happened.

The Apostle James made a related point when he said, “…you don’t know what your life will be like tomorrow…” (James 4:14, NASB) Since we do not know what our future holds, we are to live with integrity and trust God to use us in bigger ways than we imagine. Hillman’s mother had no idea a parachute she inspected would one day be used by her own son. None of us know how what we are doing today will impact the future so we must always endeavor to do our best.

As a pastor and columnist for nearly 15 newspapers, Tim Richards has lifted the spirits and challenged the hearts of those who have strong faith as well as those whose faith is weak. In his third book, “Sailing Through the Storm,” readers will again discover new ways to live with godly perspective in a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at