After talking for an hour, we'd reached a crux. I bent over the wounded man, waiting for him to end the lull in our conversation.
A Promise in DuressM. Stanley Bubien
He rolled his head sideways on his pillow to avert his eyes. "Pastor," he began. "There's one more thing..."
I held his hand.
"I told you how scared... how I thought I was dead."
I nodded, but he couldn't see. He continued anyway, "Well I prayed. I prayed like never before. And I told Jesus... I said if he got me outta there, I'd become a minister."
My grasp on his hand remained steady. He turned slowly and faced me. "I can't do it---" he choked on his words. Sniffing, he wiped at his eyes. I let him cry without interruption. Presently, his tears were dried and his hands laid at his sides.
"Jesus forgives everything," I told him. "Even broken promises." He sighed, and I continued. "Yet, maybe you should keep this particular promise."
He stiffened, "But... I can't---" I patted his hand. He took a long breath and quieted.
"Did you know the word 'minister' means 'servant'?"
"Consider that for a moment."
He hesitated, then turned away again. From that position, he whispered, "I'm scared."
I took both his hands between mine, "God saved you once. He can do it again."
He shook his head and, barely audible, breathed, "How can I... be God's servant?"
"Maybe," I replied. "It would be best to ask God."
He was quiet. Soon, though, his pillow wrinkled as he nodded his understanding.
Copyright ©1996 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.
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