Walk and Keep Your Eyes Open

There once was time, long, long ago. Nope, sounds like a fairy tale. In a place far away, in another town. Nope, sounds like a small version of Star Wars. No reward was promised, but the path was finally seen. Nope,sounds like the screenplay of a spaghetti western. It IS a true story and it was a mystery however. In retrospect, it is perhaps like sneak preview of a really exciting war story.

Jack was finishing up a 2 hour prayer meeting and was going to drive to an appointment about a mile and a half away. The meeting was just between Jack and another man in a small building right on main street in a small town almost ten miles away from the Gator ranch. The prayer room building was in rather poor shape. Roof leaked, heating system was WWII age and the bathroom was down a stairway and had a mirror that was hung on a string in it. The bathroom was adjacent to the collectible antiques ‘storage’ area. Lionel trains, cupie dolls, and of course, the furnace.

Upstairs in the prayer room, it was pretty swell. Cursive wood scripture here and there on the walls. An enclosed drum cage, mics, electronic keyboards and such. There were chairs for visitors and a big flat screen for beaming in other prayer rooms. Internet access was available from the bar next door (yes, they asked them) There was a soft light in the entry room that was on all night. It seemed comfy and welcoming with a couch and more inspiring cursive writing. All of the remodeling was done by the Gator family and they all prayed and worshiped every Thursday night too. It was intimate and public. Town folks did not know what it was. A free clinic of sorts?

So when Jack was walking out to his car, he ‘heard a voice’ in his mind. Akin to remembering a forgotten chore. The strong voice of someone in the family. Undeniable and at times, something Jack did not want to do.

“walk to your appointment” ‘No’ “It’s a very good day for a walk” ‘No’ again. “There is a very nice trail to your right!” ‘OK, I will walk’ Three times he refused to obey. The soft voice then said; “keep your eyes open” Jack thought of treasure to be found and he began walking, now somewhat eagerly. Nothing was seen except trash and waterlogged cigarette remnants. “Cross the road” was now ‘heard’ Jack obeyed. Immediately, after crossing, Jack saw envelopes in the grassy ditch. Many of them and amidst them, a small broken wood box.

Jack began gathering the envelopes. They were all addressed to the same person in a town 20 miles away and all were postmarked with a military return address, Korea from 60 years past. Jack opened one and a soldier was writing home. Touching base with simple questions: “How is the combine working?” Farm things. The few dozen envelopes and the busted box were easy to carry to Jack’s appointment and he brought them home.

The last name on the envelopes was familiar and Jack and Greta called. A young woman answered and told them that the letters were all from her Grandfather and his home was recently broken in to. Jack instantly knew the thieves had thrown the box from their car, seen worthless to them. The woman came right away and thanked the Gators for the small but significant treasure returned. It felt very good to Jack and Greta and then, Jack knew who gently insisted he walk the day before. It was their best friend that the family talked and sang to in that simple but beautiful prayer room. Four years now and forming them to be obedient and at many times, given great comfort and joy from their best friend who was always there with them. Jesus. It’s pretty good, Jack Gator

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