Running Home: A Rescuer
The morning sunrise always captured my attention. The brightness and warmth of the sun brought peace to my soul. Time surely flew by. Before we knew it, another year passed. A lot of life and its changes took place. Mr. Lemaster was so good to all of us. As the oldest brother, I saw and heard a lot of what my sisters hide so well from my younger brothers. Mr. Marshall was someone I never met, but I could tell how much Mama and my sisters were affected by him. Mama always made sure to remind us how the Lord took care of all our needs. Despite that, Mellie always seemed down. I know it hurt Mama to watch her pain flourish. Mellie is the most sensitive of my sisters, and I’m not sure Mama knew how to help her. None of us knew how to mend her torn heart.
The sunrise finished coming up, waking the morning sky with the bright yellow color blinding my eyes. I heard Mama praying from inside the house. Mama was a true soldier of faith, and there was never a time that she wasn’t praying for all of us kids. Daddy was someone we all looked up to, and with him gone, and after what happened with Mr. Marshall, I never understood how Mama kept her faith going the way she did. But she did. She fought her battles with all the faith she had. Mama’s courage amazed me.
“Dear Lord, thank you for all you’ve done for my family,” said Mama. I detected the slightest hint of heartache in her voice. “I ask and I pray for salvation for my kids. They need you in their lives, I worry for them.” “My girls especially have been hurting. I don’t know what else to do.” Mama began to cry softly. She didn’t want anyone to hear her. As a mother, she never let us know what anguish she truly felt through all the storms the family weathered. But we knew.
A sound all too familiar to us jolted me from my thoughts and trance-like gaze on the sunrise. Mr. Lemaster arrived with our week’s earnings: milk, eggs, a basket of fruits and vegetables, and sewing materials for Mama. He has rescued us in so many ways. He was a “safe haven” as Mama put it. His sons became like brothers to us. Life was okay, at least I thought it was.
Mama came out from the house after a few minutes of tidying the small space we called home. “Oh, hello James! I didn’t know you were out here!” She patted me on the shoulder as she slowly walked out to greet Mr. Lemaster who was walking towards her, with a basket swaying in his left hand, cartons of eggs and milk clutched in the other.
“Mr. Lemaster, how nice to see you!” Mama wore a look of surprise. “Thank you for all of that.”, she said motioning towards the basket and cartons. “What brings you out on a Saturday?”
“Well, I was a day late giving you what I owe ya, so I thought I’d come today and tell ya that there’s a revival this month at the church and I think ya should come and bring the youngins.”
Mama never missed a church service, but lately Melda hadn’t wanted to go. Mama never wanted to go without all of her kids. Melda was dealing with a lot of emotions. The past couple years of sadness really dampened her spirit, despite all the good that happened.
“Thank you.” Mama replied, an appreciative grin circling her face. “I’m sure we will be back soon. Mellie’s just in a phase, a rather long one.” Mr. Lemaster glanced over Mama’s shoulder to see Melda wearing a quarter of a grin. He waved at her. Melda waved back, relaxing a bit as she saw him.
“She’ll be alright.” Mr. Lemaster said, hoping his enthusiasm would encourage Mama. “My boys went through something similar with not having June around.” His expression drooped. “Fifteen is a hard age, and especially with all y’all havin’ been through, she’s bound to feel a lot” Mr. Lemaster gazed at Mama sympathetically as he carefully set everything down, turned, and went on his way.
“Thanks again!” Mama yelled out as she took everything inside with a smile on her face.
The next couple of weeks passed by in a blur. Revival meetings began at church. Mama, true to her promise, took us. Many preachers came to these meetings, and we took a lot from the messages that were preached. One of the messages in particular changed the course of our family forever. It was called “A Rescuer.” The preacher spoke of how Jesus died for all of our sins on the cross. At eight years old his mother told him about Jesus’s saving grace. The young preacher saw himself as the lost sinner he was, and his mother led him to the Lord. Jesus saved his soul from an eternity in the fire of Hell, giving him eternal life in Heaven. His childhood was spent in a world of pain, he never knew true happiness before Jesus. As his preaching continued, he described how accepting Christ as his savior gave him a life he never dreamed of.
This story of a battle seemed all too familiar to us. As the service came to an end, the young preacher spoke once more, giving that evening’s invitation:
“If there be anyone here who would like to trust in Christ tonight for salvation, raise up your hand, and come on up, and I will pray with you for salvation. Let Jesus be your rescuer.” He scanned the small crowd as several hands flew up. To our surprise, one of those hands was Melda. Mama let out a tiny cry, stifling her breath as Melda eased out of her seat and made her way up to the front.
“I don’t know why my hand went up exactly, but I know I’ve been needin’ a rescuer”. Melda said, quietly. The young preacher talked for several minutes with her, and after a while he began to lead her through a prayer for salvation.
“Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God and I’m a sinner”, he began.
“Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and I am a sinner,” Melda repeated
“Thank You for dying on the cross for all of my sins. I accept Your gift of salvation & place my faith and trust in You. I give my life to You from this moment forward.” He continued, “thank You for dying on the cross for all of my sins. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, placing my faith and trust in You. I give my life to You from this moment forward. Amen.”
After the prayer and a few more minutes of conversation, Melda made her way back to her seat beside Mama. She quickly enveloped Melda in a hug, a heart full of peace for her daughter.
A huge shift happened in the family. Mama continued to cry happy tears, silently praising the Lord as she felt her prayers for her kids had begun to be answered. Christ wasn’t about religion; salvation was by His saving grace through faith. It was about a personal relationship with Christ. Melda saw her need for a rescuer through an answer to a prayer. That’s what Mama believed.
The service ended and a little while later, Frank made his way towards Melda, gently enveloping her hand in his. “My dad wanted me to come over and tell you that we’re happy for you.” Frank beamed at Melda.
“Thanks.” Melda replied. “I have enjoyed this week” She looked around, eventually spotting Mr. Lemaster in the crowd.
“Can I walk with you to your house?” Frank asked.
“Well, sure, I guess” replied Melda.
“Great!” Frank said with excitement.
As both families headed home from the service, Melda and Frank walked side by side. Life would be interesting for both of them. Jesus had begun to answer Mama’s fervent prayers in a mighty way. For the first time in a long while, Melda felt a sense of peace wash over her. She was glad to have a rescuer.
The Bible Way to Heaven
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 King James Version)
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 King James Version)
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 King James Version)
‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 King James Version)