continued from Sowing Seed – A True Story
A True Story – part 2
For the next few days, whenever we weren’t fighting crime like barking dogs and shoplifters, Jim would show me things in his Bible like John 3:16, Romans 10: 9-10, and especially First Corinthians 13: 4-8. That’s the verses most commonly referred to as “the love chapter.”
He was doing a good job of holding my interest, which I didn’t think would be possible and then on about the fourth or fifth night something else happened that made me think that God was really ganging up on me.
I had been hanging around the apartment after coming in from work and eating cold pizza and warm beer (because I had forgotten to put any on ice). I heard a knock on the door and, when I opened it, two young men were standing there looking a little nervous, or shy, or both. They were both dressed casually in blue jeans and T-shirts that said “Today is the day.” They told me they were from the local Nazarene Church “up on the hill” and did I have a few minutes for a short visit.
I couldn’t help thinking, my sister must still be praying. I invited them in and when the one named Christopher asked my name and I told him it was Jack Corcoran, he recognized it right away from the newspaper. “Hey, are you that police officer they were writing about in the paper?”
I was all ready for him but, before I could say a word, they were both apologizing for the rude behavior of that “so-called preacher.” They were referring to a nasty letter to the Editor that some preacher had written about me breaking some guy’s nose (That’s another story for some other time). And Jeremy finally spoke up. “I don’t know where that guy’s church is and I honestly don’t care. That certainly isn’t the Christian attitude I’ve been brought up with.”
You could have knocked me over with a heavy breath. They certainly knocked the wind out of my sails. So, now I was anxious to hear what they had to say. And to my surprise, they were telling me some of the same stuff Jim had been telling me. Things like “God loves us” and “Jesus Christ died for our sins” and then Christopher helped me understand what the slogan on their shirts meant. He said, “Nobody I have ever met was walking around looking for God; it’s God, who chooses us,” and he quoted something from the bible; something about “today is the day” without even opening the book. That impressed me.
If I remember correctly, they stayed there for almost thirty minutes. At one point Jeremy asked me how I was dealing with all the stuff I saw as a policeman and I laughed and said, “The way I deal with everything; I get drunk.”
They didn’t laugh. Christopher got very serious and said the one thing that I still remember from that visit. He said, “The bible says to trust the Lord with all your heart” and “whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” Then he stopped. I think they were praying; or maybe just waiting for that to sink in.
After about a minute, he asked me something about asking Jesus to come into my life but I said, with all honesty, “I don’t know man. You’ve hit me with some pretty heavy stuff. I think I need some time to think about this.”
After they left, I thought about it; for a minute or two, and decided I needed another beer. I was sitting on the couch with my second beer when the thought struck me; hey, I wonder if they were the ones from God my sister has been praying for. I scratched my head and smiled. Oh no, we’re not going there. That’s crazy. And for emphasis I repeated it out loud, “that’s just crazy.”
But then I thought about what that guy Christopher had said to me just before they left. He stood there at the open door and looked me right in the eyes and, with all seriousness, he said; “I want you to know that God’s word calls you his servant. When you get a chance, look up Romans 13:4.
I didn’t have a bible and didn’t even know where to get one, but I knew who did. And the first thing I asked him when we got in the patrol car the next morning was, “What’s Romans 13:4 say?” And, of course, he wanted to know where I had heard that so I told him about my two visitors. There went that smile again as he reached into his bag and pulled out his Bible.
“For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
I just sat there for the longest time with my mouth open. Then I said, ‘Let me see that,” and he handed me his book and put his finger on it. I must have read it a half dozen times. And that’s when it really hit me. This is the guy she prayed for. Of course; I would definitely listen to another cop. They were the only people I trusted (and half of them I had trouble with). Sure, why wouldn’t I listen to another cop? And I really did start to cry.
For the next several days Jim talked to me about God and His love for all of us, and I told him about my father and how I truly believed the man hated me. He showed me in his Bible where it says, “God disciplines those He loves.” (Hebrews 12:6). I repeated that my father beat me out of hatred not love. And Jim showed me another verse, “Fathers, do not provoke your children.” Then he showed me the one that says, “Husbands, love your wives.”(Ephesians 5:25)
I couldn’t help myself. Something inside me just melted. After a few minutes, Jim quietly said, “Jack, I think you need to go visit that Nazarene Church.”
Well, I did just that; but that’s for another day so, I’m going to close for now and pick it up in a few days. Hope you come back.
God bless ya’ll