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A True Story For A Sunday Morning


By —— Bio and Archives--July 24, 2018

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A True Story For A Sunday Morning
The night of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, Jesus told Peter - who had just assured Jesus that he would never be ashamed of their relationship - that (Saint, yes) Peter would in fact deny Him, that very night, three times before the rooster had finished crowing. And that is exactly what Peter did. Peter’s third denial was even made with him swearing at the person who had put the two of them together! By the time the cock had crowed twice, Peter, hearing that, wept bitterly lamenting his own weakness. Peter ran off into the night, ashamed of himself. Jesus was, as always, right. It is still like that, when you are a Christian. At least it was/is for me. I still remember how embarrassed I was, prior to my conversion, for people who openly confessed faith in a real Jesus Christ. People made fun of them. I knew I would get fighting mad if people made fun of me. I was too cool to stand for any of that. The kindred vulnerability to criticism and rejection toward outspoken Christians had a lot to do with my reluctance to seriously consider becoming one of them. As many of you have heard me say before, when Christians would approach me on campus with the stock, “Have you found Jesus?” My reply (and I swear this was then original with me) was usually always, “No, is He lost? If I see Him, should I tell Him to get a hold of you?” (Words to that effect) To this day, at times, I confess I still occasionally get cold feet at having to talk about Jesus in front of certain folks.

But the time came when, after an extended, near-fatal binge with riotous living, I did ultimately cry out to the Lord to save my then worthless hide. [Prior to my conversion, I never saw the true worth of what God had created when He made me (or anyone else, for that matter).] For me, He very graciously allowed me to come to the end of myself during my committed pursuit to find and actualize who I thought I might be. By looking back on that time and remembering who I was, I can easily even tell you why our nation and the world are currently in such sad shape. It is simply and mostly because so many people are looking to anything - other than the real God who made us all - for direction and answers. That is why today anything that behaves as though it is confidently traveling in most any direction can bring a whole crowd of sheep-like people along with it. Devoted tv watchers, especially, I find, are bland and homogenous almost non-personalities. It’s because people, like sheep (Jesus quite accurately called us sheep) have a tendency to replicate whatever behavior they are most often exposed to. People today sadly look to television to tell them what to think and how to live. Again, as I have said before, if you ever want to stop hating President Trump, simply turn off your leftist television and stop listening to those who won’t. Before long, you will at least be thinking for yourself. Ah, but I digress ...

Nevertheless, one big request I had made of the Lord, when He first got ahold of me, was that He would not make me wear the pompadour hairstyle and the three-piece suit that most of the most ‘repulsive’ Christians were then wearing. I wanted to, if possible, stay somewhat ‘cool’ in my Christianity. My commitment to Him was complete and unreserved. I just kind of threw that in as an afterthought. I told Him I would wear the outfit if I really had to. But it would just take a while for me to feel okay about that. I am happy to report that He never made me do that at all. But there have been several occasions since the night that I met Him, where I have been exposed to a great risk of completely compromising my ‘cooldom’. This story is about one of those instances. This story is also about another in a series of the miracles I am constrained to talk about as I head toward the end of my days on this planet. Jesus told His disciples, when they were marveling at the works He was doing: “These works you will (also) do, and greater works as well!” (John 14:12, Merrick paraphrase) Some of my good readers have read some of the other miracles I have cited to date. This may be your first. But I have found out that one of the strongest proofs of and invitations to the invisible God in whom I believe, is simply the recitation of the amazing stuff - MIRACLES - He does in the lives of His children - of whom I am one.

Set the way-back machine for the late 70s-early 80s. I was finishing cement as a way of making a living for my brand-new family. I had been a psychology major. But I discovered that my construction skills were worth a whole lot more immediate cash. One evening, after crawling off another basement floor and driveway I had just artfully troweled smooth, I noticed that my left knee was swollen up like a water balloon. By midnight that night I was rolling around my bed half out of my mind with a fever I’d gained from the staff infection in that knee. The infected blood was coursing through my veins, advancing rapidly, and could - according to my worried doctor - settle in my heart and/or brain, maybe going into complete sepsis, and that would be the end of everything for me and my new little family. He put me in the hospital on an I-V antibiotic drip. At the end of about a week my knee was again normal size, and I was feeling okay. The miracle I want to talk about has nothing to do with my knee. A couple nights before I was scheduled to go home, that was when things began getting amazing.

It was about 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning and I was lying awake in my hospital room. I was in a four-bed room. To the left of me was a man named Jack who reminded me of the skipper on Gilligan’s Island. He looked just like him, anyway, and made me laugh just as hard. We had become good friends. He had a carotid artery worked on. His natural concern had given me a chance to share my faith with him. And we made the close on that deal in prayer earlier that evening. I was real happy about that. He was sound asleep. Across the darkened and silent room, catty corner from me, was a head-injured man who could not communicate with, or make sense of, much of anything. He was snoring as well. The bed on that far wall, I could see it between my feet, was empty. I was just lying there looking out to my right at the overcast sky over Pike’s Peak (Colorado Springs). The entire wall on that side of me was an expanse of tinted, giant panes of heavy plate-glass, floor to ceiling. Through the clouds and above the sprawling neighborhoods and forests in front of that mountain, I saw a helicopter approaching the hospital. The closer it came, the more I realized that it was a “Flight For Life” chopper. Our room was 10 stories up, and I could feel the air from from that bird’s props pounding on the roof as it zoomed over to make the approach to the landing pad down on the other side. Intensely curious as to the incoming business, I quietly got up and dragged my big, heavy, four wheeled, I-V standard across the darkened hall with me to the supply room on the other side.

Continued below...

The screened window in that room was open. The shelved supply room was literally clattering with noise as that helicopter’s giant, chopping, jet black blades were descending, just a couple yards out from that small window. The craft perfectly centered itself on the big yellow bull’s-eye below. I could see the emergency crew, tiny uniformed nurses and doctors from my vantage point, as they rushed out and extracted a body on a gurney with a few glass bottles wagging above it. The body, swaddled in sheets, looked bluish gray. It didn’t look good. I quietly rolled the tall, solid metal I-V pole out the door and back across the hall into my room and got into bed. About an hour later, they wheeled that man in, and it took four guys to lay him on the empty bed. Doctors and nurses carefully worked on him most of the night. I eventually fell asleep. The next morning I woke up and softly strode to the corner of my curtained cubicle. I peeked out and saw our new neighbor/patient, looking like a supine stone statue, staring at the ceiling like a zombie. Surrounded with even more hanging bottles and tubes, his skin was still cold-stone gray, and he didn’t make a sound. He never moved an inch. He was a large man, like Frankenstein’s monster, and just as otherworldly. He was breathing, but not much. His heart monitor was beeping fast. And the lines barely moved as the oscilloscope screens tracked his heart’s activity.

After breakfast the nurse came in and told me that my temperature was again rising. My heart rate was fast. I’d just finished a week of constant improvement, and suddenly everything began going downhill. Stranger still, the peace that had been in that room all week long was now completely noticeable - in its absence - since the arrival of our new guest. I felt way uncomfortable, and I just wanted, more than I had all week long, to go home. Jack and the guy in the far corner were napping. I lay in bed looking out at the mountains and more overcast sky - wondering why I suddenly felt so lousy. Everything was quiet.

Suddenly there was a huge crash and explosion on the other side of the curtain at the foot of my bed! I heard screams and saw a couple nurses running out of our door. A big guy, an orderly, was slammed up against the wall next to that door, like a doll that had been tossed! The window by the new guy’s bed behind my curtain exploded in giant shards of heavy glass that went spraying and flying out into the rainy air. In seconds, I could hear those giant fragments smashing into pieces on the first floor roof a hundred feet below. I got out of my bed and pulled the curtain back in time to see what had been the half-dead stone man up on his two feet and sprinting around swinging his giant, four wheeled I-V stand like a baseball bat. There was blood everywhere from the torn open wounds he had and the needles he had ripped out of his arms. The massive stainless steel I-V pole swung around again, this time missing my face by about a foot, and smashing out more giant pieces of sailing glass. It all sounded like a series of bombs going off. I saw a stranded nurse crawl up into bed with my thoroughly horrified neighbor, Jack. Two more nurses had jumped up into the bed over in the corner, across the room with the other patient. The poor frightened and senseless man was terrified in his confusion. Once again the giant heavy pole flew past me and this time hit the tubed tv set suspended from the ceiling. The tv exploded, spraying grey dust and glass everywhere. Now the man’s feet were cut up. Blood was smearing all over the floor and was splattered all over the wall and curtains. The new patient was clearly out of his mind. He was hallucinating and screaming, “Dammit! Dammit! They’re going to kill us all!” I was amazed, to say the least. This man, who had almost seemed dead this morning, was very likely going to kill somebody. And he was now suddenly displaying the strength of several men.

 


There was a crowd gathering in the hall - but no one dared come inside. There were doctors and more nurses, and I saw a couple of security cops. The wild man continued swinging his tall, heavy metal battle ax around the room while he was screaming his head off. At that moment I did what most any ordinarily brave man might have done. I ripped the needle out of my own arm, hit the deck, and crawled beneath my hospital bed. From there, I could see the bottom part of all the confusion I had been watching before above. Suddenly, everything got quiet in my own mind! I ‘heard’ - more ‘felt’, actually - a quiet, peaceful voice saying to me, “You need to get up and face this problem.” My instant response was, “What?! No way!!” The sense of that voice returned, “You can do this. It’s partly why you’re here. Get up now and take care of this.” I argued back (I thought with myself), “I’m not that lucky!” To which the feeling in my heart firmly, lovingly replied, “Luck?” By then I knew I was not imagining things, and I crawled out from underneath the bed. Nothing had changed. The guy was still swinging around and screaming. And everybody else was keeping a safe distance and looking on. The poor women nurses were whimpering in fear. The two trapped patients were totally freaked out.

I stepped forward, raised my hand in the air in front of me, and put my palm straight toward the guy. Standing there, as he was frantically gasping and turning back toward me, I yelled, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to stop!” The man froze with his I-V pole clutched in his two hands like he was going to bunt a baseball. Wild eyed, he screamed at me, “But they’re going to kill us! They’re going to kill us all!” With my hand still toward him, I pointed at him and yelled, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to set that pole down, right there, right now!” I pointed to the floor next to him. And, like a robot, he firmly set the pole on its four rubber wheels and then stood next to it at attention, staring back at me. “Now, in JESUS’ name!” I said, “Walk to your bed and sit down!” Again in machine-like movement, he took a couple of steps to his bed, did an about face, and sat down with his hands at his sides. He was staring straight ahead, again frozen. His hospital garment was nearly off of him. He was almost nude and entirely covered in blood. Immediately, orderlies from the hall tore into the room and tackled the man while more attendants threw heavy, olive drab, cloth straps with big brass buckles around him and his bed, binding him tightly to the mattress. He was now secured and unable to move. He was still wild-eyed, his eyes were jaundiced yellow, and he just stared straight up at the ceiling. The stunned nurses timidly crawled down out of the beds they had climbed into for refuge. Doctors and nurses came in from the hall and began addressing his cuts and other needs before having him rolled out into the hallway and into some other treatment room. I stood there with my rear end hanging out of my hospital smock. The man was never returned to our room or even to general population, but was kept, I was told, in restraint in a special room on another floor.

Continued below...

Later on that day, my wife and son came to visit me. I told them all about what happened. One nurse came in and told me that she had for years been telling her fellow staff members about our Lord. She said, “Today, David, a lot of these people I have been talking to, doctors and nurses, got to see the power of the real Lord Jesus Christ working through one of his children.” We both prayed and gave thanks for that. This story has gone on long enough. But I don’t think we wasted any space here. For those of you who might doubt, all I can say is that I swear (which I really shouldn’t be doing) that everything I’ve told you is the absolute truth. There is a real God who made us all. He hides from us (Isaiah 45:15), so that His presence and power (in our fallen reality) will not affect our volition or ruin the faith He wants us all to stretch and exercise. Indeed, even the angels are curious concerning the faith and choices we have been given that they, to this day, lack. God has done a whole lot of powerfully miraculous things in my life. I have written about a few of them. I hope to relate more of them to you in the future. In the meantime, He does amazing things for and through all of His family members - especially any of His who will ask for that. And for those of you, my good readers, who have yet to meet Him, He is only a prayer away. And, if I leave you with nothing else, know that the signs of His return are happening all around us every day. And there is nothing left to happen that needs to happen before He comes back for His own. At any cost and by all means, get ready for His return.


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Dave Merrick -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dave Merrick, Davemerrick.us is an internationally known and published artist whose works reach into the greatest diversity of audiences. Known primarily for his astoundingly lifelike portraiture, Merrick’s drawings and paintings grace the walls of an impressive array of well-known corporate and private clientele. Many of his published wildlife pieces have become some of America’s most popular animal imagery.

He has more original work in the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame than any other artist. His wildlife and Southwestern-theme work is distributed internationally through Joan Cawley Galleries of Scottsdale AZ.


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