For many years I had a lovely office in Downtown Dallas. It had much space, dark green plush carpet, a big conference table, nice leather chairs, and lovely western art on the walls. I had a great secretary who took shorthand, and two different young male assistants.
However, since I lived in the Denton area, the commute could be quite burdensome, especially on hot August days. Occasionally I stopped at a Shell Station in Denton for gas. I usually used a large Buick sedan for the commute.
On one August afternoon I was in my GMC Suburban from the ranch on the way home. Since it held 40 gallons, I did not need to stop for gas very often. On this one afternoon it had plenty of gas, but as I passed that shell station the Suburban on its own volition just changed lanes and pulled into the back of the gas station and parked itself not at a gas pump, but in the back of the little Shell building………all on its own. It was in control, not me.
I sat there for a few minutes, wondering what in the world this was all about. Such had never happened before. I knew that they sold bread there in the little building, so I decided to just go in and get a loaf of bread. I selected a loaf from the rack and got in line to pay for it.
In those days it was just before we were able to pay at the pump. It was still necessary to go in and pay the cashier.
The cashier, who I had seen a few times before, was a quite attractive red-haired young lady. As it came my time to pay, she looked up and when she saw me she just brightened up with a big show of emotion. She said: “Oh, you came!” To which I replied: “Was I supposed to come?” She then said that she had been concentrating all afternoon intently that I would come. So, I replied: “Why me?” She then said that she had noticed the fancy Platinum American Express Card that I paid for my gas with. She said that no one else had one like that; to which I asked: “Why did you care?”
She then related how she had spent two semesters at the University of Texas at Austin but had fled away from there to Denton to get away from the drug crowd that she had fallen in with. She said that she had now decided to go back down there and join her old crowd. She said that she needed to lease a car to get back there but found that she could not unless she had a credit card. She wanted to ask me if I would loan her my American Express Card so that she could lease a car.
I told her that I understood, but that I did not think that going back to Austin to rejoin a drug crowd was a very wholesome thing to be doing.
At that point she hung her head and haltingly said that she agreed. She then said: “I know what I should be doing. I should be going to Dallas Baptist University and getting a nursing degree.”
She had no idea that I was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dallas Baptist University. I asked her if she lived near there, and she said that she lived in walking distance in an apartment. I got her address and told her to meet me at 8:00 o’clock the next morning in front of her apartment.
The next morning I took her down all the way to Dallas Baptist University. We walked straight into the President’s office. He was a very powerful man. He had been Chief of Staff to the President of the United States in the White House. He had been Senior Vice President of one of America’s largest oil companies and was still on the Board of Trustees for Billy Graham’s Evangelistic Organization. He was a man of experience and action.
I told him that his girl needed to be enrolled there and that she did not have much money. He did not ask us to go around to the different departments and wait in line to get her enrolled. He had a senior person from each office come straight there to us…..from the Registrar’s office, the Financial Aids office, from the Academic Deans’ office, the Student Residence’s office, and all the others.
In less than an hour this young lady was enrolled in Dallas Baptist University, had financial aid help, and had her first semester’s class schedule.
Two years later I saw her again at a university function. She was doing great. She was a member of two Christian Service organizations and making good grades. Later I learned that she had graduated with honors and was engaged to a fine young man.
You can say that it was my imagination that my Suburban took control of itself and pulled into that Shell station and parked itself behind that little building. But I swear to you that it did it all on its own to my total astonishment.
It certainly is confirming when God intervenes obviously and physically into things according to his purposes.
Pictures of Dallas Baptist University:
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