For the last 20 years I have presented the Gospel to each new youth at the highly secure prison for the kids ages 13 to 19 at Gainesville, Texas. It is the first time that most any of them have stopped “running on the streets” and had the time to think about their life. Most every one made a decision to make God part of their life. After our hour+ together I would write each one a letter. As a result I corresponded more with many of them. And in each letter I would enclose a group of short stories or poems. They really liked them, especially those with an emotional message. You probably would not believe how many locked-up prison boys have loved theses little stories, and read them over and over.
In my soon to be published book I enclosed a long list of those short stories in the Appendix. Since the prison boys liked them so much, I thought you may like to see some of them. So, here is a third group of them for you. And you are welcome to share them with others.
The Contact Lens
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she
was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff.
In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and
started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could
take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped
against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is on
a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her.
Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the
ledge, but it just wasn’t there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now
blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord
to help her to find it. When she got to the top of the rock, a friend
examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact
lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, waiting for the rest of them to make it
up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking
of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole
earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every
stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help
me.” Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom.
At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face
of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a
contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the
climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock,
carrying it! Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told
him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he
drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord,
I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s
awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for
At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would probably
do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you want me
to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy. But, if
you want me to carry it, I will.”
Remember . . . God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
And He doesn’t look for ability……just availability.
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.
As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and drove the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing. That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”
The young boy was apologetic. “Please mister…please, I’m sorry…I didn’t know what else to do,” he pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop…” With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. “It’s my brother, ” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out his fancy handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and may God bless you sir, ” the grateful child told the stranger.
Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the little boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!
God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice: Listen to the whisper…or wait for the brick!
Who’s Your Daddy? (A true story)
A number of years ago a seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee where they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet family meal.
While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife:
“I hope he doesn’t come over here.” But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.
“Where are you folks from?” he asked in a friendly voice.
“Oklahoma,” they answered.
“Great to have you here in Tennessee,” the stranger said. “What do you do for a living?”
“I teach at a seminary,” he replied.
“Oh, you teach preachers how to preach? Well, I’ve got a really great story for you.” And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple.
“See that mountain over there?” (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question:
‘Hey boy, Who’s your daddy?’
Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, “Who’s your daddy?” He would hide at recess and lunchtime from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad.
When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, “Who’s your daddy?” But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.
Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him,
“Son, who’s your daddy?”
The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. By now, everyone knew the answer to the question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’
This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy.……..
‘Wait a minute!’ he said, ‘I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.’
With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said:
‘Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.’
With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, ‘Who’s your Daddy?’ he’d just tell them,
‘I’m a Child of God.’
The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, “Isn’t that a great story?”
The professor responded that it really was a great story! As the man turned to leave, he said,
“You know, if that new preacher hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!” And he walked away.
The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her,
“Do you know who that man was who just left who was sitting at our table?” The waitress grinned and said,
“Of course. Everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s the former governor of Tennessee!”
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.
As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study.
His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and told him how much he loved him.
He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.
Curious and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with his name embossed in gold.
Angry, he raised his voice at his father and said, “With all your money, all you give for graduation to me is a Bible?” With that he became very angry and stormed out of the house.
Many years passed.
The young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family. He realized that his father was already very old and thought perhaps he should patch things up with him.
Being so angry, he had not seen him since that graduation day.
Before he could make arrangements to do so , he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take charge.
When he arrived, a wave of sadness and regret enveloped his heart.
He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago.
With tears, he opened the Bible and began to leaf through the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt.7:11:
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation and the words PAID IN FULL.
Sometimes we under-estimate our heavenly father’s plan and power and we do things in our own will without thinking about what God would want us to do. But our God knows what to give and when to give, and He loves us very much.