The Back Pew

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Growing up knowing jesus helped me from making big life-changing mistakes, but i certainly made my share of the less serious ones.

Submitted: April 15, 2017

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Submitted: April 15, 2017

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The back Pew

Short Story – Non-fiction

I was twelve when I accepted Jesus as my Lord, and it was not a minute too soon.  Victory Baptist Church was only two blocks from where we lived in Providence, Kentucky. Like most kids, I spent the majority of my time in church on the back pew.  I was not even aware that I was listening to the sermon that Sunday, but when the invitation came at the end of the service, I almost ran down the aisle.  I knew from that day forward that God would be with me in whatever I faced in the future. Without his protection, I am sure that I would not have made it to age twenty.

Growing up knowing Jesus helped me from making big life-changing mistakes, but I certainly made my share of the less serious ones. At the early age of sixteen, after I had left home, God placed a special couple in my path who encouraged me to join the service. The army provided me with the discipline that I needed at that age. I knew that God was watching over me, and He helped me whenever I was tempted to make a bad decision.

Every day God intervenes to protect us. Recently, as I backed out of a parking space, a car turning off the main road almost rear ended me. Only the week before, while following a swerving car, two other cars cut me off while trying to get around quickly as the first driver crossed the center line several times and then made a wild U-turn on a red light. Think about all the drivers that are distracted while speeding through heavy traffic, then thank God for watching over you each time you get on the road.

Are we safe anywhere? While walking our dog in the back yard, a bullet tore through the trees, bounced off the wooden bridge with a loud bang, and landed in the dried leaves at my feet. A second later I heard the gunshot, and I knew at once what it was. Had not the Lord caused me to pause and knock down a spider web, I would have been hit. Close calls occur every day; most of the time we are not aware of them, or maybe we just ignore them.

I knew the Lord was protecting me when a bear stepped over me in the mountains of New York. I was on a weekend hiking trip on the northern tip of the Appalachian Trail, and I arrived at the campsite after dark. It was full of campers, so I continued down a side trail to a clearing with a view over the moonlit lake. I threw a rope over a high limb and raised my backpack, which contained a hamburger, to prevent the animals from getting into it. I did not realize that the pack with food was between the lake and where I was sleeping. I could see the outline of the bear as he snorted and stepped over my sleeping bag, brushing my body as he passed. My life flashed before me as I held the knife at my side, waiting for the attack. After a few moments, a strange peace came over me, and I dozed back off—only to be disturbed a second time as he stepped over me again. Through the thin sleeping bag cover which I was using to keep the dew off my face, I could see the full moon and his outline as he passed over me again.

 When we drove vehicles out of a burning lot in Germany, I knew that God was protecting us all. A soldier was refueling his jeep late one night from the large tank truck when it suddenly caught fire. We were called out to evacuate the motor pool. We had to drive by the burning fuel truck with flames reaching a hundred feet into the night sky. Tires exploded from the intense heat, yet no one was hurt and only two vehicles were lost.

Once in Syracuse, New York, I was on a plane that slid off the runway during a rain storm. I was reminded once more that God was watching, not only me, but all of the people on that plane.

At yearly caving conventions we camped out and everyone joked about the summer storms and floods that always seemed to hit the campsite during the conventions, knocking down tents—or worse yet, a lake rising to flood the entire campsite. More than once we returned from a banquet late at night to find tents piled up and sleeping gear soaked, yet I don’t recall anyone getting injured. God and His angels had to be watching over the saved and unsaved alike.

  There were many close calls while caving that if at any time God had taken his hand off of me, I could have died. I had falls which should have been disastrous, but which only shook me up. I crawled around the slick edge of deep pits and almost became permanently stuck in some tight places. Many times loose rocks moved or fell when touched. Several days later the fear would hit me about how close I came to death.

A gun-waving drunk stopped my family on the expressway as we traveled home from Florida. I slowly eased by, talking gently and trying not to upset him any more than he already was. God kept his gun pointed up and protected us as we drove by. I pulled off at the next exit to report the incident (this was long before cell phones were common).

Shortly after we moved into our current house, an angry wife fired gunshots in front of our home as she chased her husband down the street, the back doors of his van swinging open as bullets flew through. He jumped out and dived into the ditch that ran down the side of our property, hitting the foot bridge I had just built and falling over the waterfall just below it, all while the woman fired shots at him from her car. The policeman who showed up did not even get out of his car for fear of being shot at also. He just talked her into going home to cool off.

How foolish to think we can live one hour on this earth without the protection of the God who loves us. It’s wonderful to trust God and to not live in fear, knowing that whatever happens, however bad, God is in control. Even at the end of this life on earth, God has already provided a better home for us.

Sundays in church, when I walk past the back pew, I shake the hands of the boys sitting there and give them a big smile as I remember the times I sat on the back pew.


© Copyright 2017 Caverhubert. All rights reserved.

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