Thursday, September 7, 2006
There are angels among us
One of the games we played as children was the game of “Sling Statue.” In the game one person was “It.” “It” would sling the other players around and around and when “It” let them go, the person was to land in the form of whatever was decided before the sling, such as an elephant, a skyscraper, etc.
Helen Sheffield and I went over to Bernice Woodward’s house on Van Dorn Avenue next door to the house called “The Old Traveler.” The yard was small, almost tiny, but we decided to play “Sling Statue.” I was “It.” We were playing and all of a sudden, around the corner, up the drive, right towards us came a raging black bull with red eyes. He looked like the devil himself coming to devour us.
He ran at Bernice and Helen and they got in the house but then he turned his attention on me. With all my might, I was trying to flee but the bull was right behind me, blowing his bad breath on me. Again, I thought I was history when an angel of the Lord in the form of a man appeared at the end of the driveway flailing his arms to attract the bull so the bull’s attention was diverted to the man. The last I saw of both of them, the bull was chasing the man down the street. I had never seen the man before, and I knew everybody in town and I think the Lord sent His angel to save my life.
Later on a mad bull ran into Tyson’s Drug Store. It was summer and the doors were open so a bull in the drugstore was wrecking the place and scaring everybody to death. Joe Tyson took his pistol and shot and killed the bull. Back in those days, herds of animals were “herded” through town, as there were no cattle trucks big enough.
I’m sure the people were like cowboys moving the animals to another location. Sometimes it was horses, or cows, or sheep being transported. Imagine all those animals running wildly through this very square. How spooky!
Have you ever encountered an angel? They are around. Once my son Scott, his wife Kathy and baby Emily and I went mountain climbing in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Scott carried baby Emily, Kathy carried the supplies and I carried the food, which consisted of gorp (mixture of cereal, nuts, dried fruit, chips and cookies) and a thermos. Scott and Kathy started rappelling up and down this cliff and I was on top of the mountain with the baby. I spread out the blanket for baby Emily and me to sit on. When it was time to eat, we got out the gorp (a very handy picnic, it will go in your pocket) and were sitting there, when all of a sudden the bushes behind us burst open and a bearded man came forth and said, “Hi, I’m Abraham.” He looked it. We were all sitting there stunned and I said, “Well, you’re just in time. Come join us.” He sat down, declined our food and immediately started talking about Jesus. He looked at Scott and started questioning him about his Christian status. He graciously talked to Kathy and me but it was Scott he was interested in. When his mission was accomplished, he disappeared back into the bushes.
When Billy Graham’s wife was growing up in China, her father was a missionary with a bookstore. The year was about 1939 when the Japanese were invading and killing whoever got in their way. Ruth Graham’s father was there all alone in the bookstore and a truck full of Japanese soldiers drove up and parked in front of the store. Ruth’s father knew what they would do. He started praying. Just as the soldiers began to unload, a stranger walked into the bookstore. He just browsed through the books for three or four hours. Finally, the restless soldiers loaded up and left. Then the stranger was through browsing. He was probably the same angel who saved me from the bull.
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