Contributed By Wes
As I look back on my childhood growing up on a farm and ranch in southern Oklahoma, there is one particular event that was undoubtedly a turning point in my life. It seemed insignificant and even a little humorous at the time. But it now stands out because of the compassion and courage of one man-Mr. Thompson.
Mr. Thompson was a farmer and he was a very large man. He had to special order his shoes because there weren’t any stores that carried his size 22! I mention this because it factors into the humorous part of this story.
On that particular day, two of my best friends in first grade were playing baseball with me in the cow pasture across the gravel road from my farm house. Mr. Thompson drove up to my house and evidently noticed us playing baseball across the way. He was our Sunday school teacher (Donovan, Reid, and myself) and had been praying for our salvation. I believe it was providential that the three of us were together as he arrived to talk with me about Jesus.
Mr. Thompson got out of his truck and began trying to cross the gully next to the gravel road. There was a steep embankment on the pasture side of the gully which proved to be a tremendous challenge for a man weighing over 300 pounds. He was dressed in a dark suit which quickly changed to the reddish brown of Oklahoma dirt as he struggled. We three boys found it very entertaining as he tried to pull himself up.
After what seemed like a rather long comedy show, Mr. Thompson finally got to the top of the embankment and then faced the even bigger challenge of getting through a barbed, five-wire fence. After several attempts to climb over the fence without success, he finally managed to crawl under, but not without tearing the pants leg of his suit. I remember us laughing about his appearance as he made his way across the pasture.
When he finally reached us, he sat down on the ground to catch his breath. We sat down too as he started to talk to us about why he was there. I remember his tone of voice was sincere and compassionate and it was easy to take what he was saying serious as we began listening to him. He talked about our sin, about the condition that that sin had put us in, and about what God had done to remedy our condition. That afternoon, sitting in a dusty cow pasture, three young Oklahoma boys accepted Jesus as their savior.
I will always be thankful for parents who took me to Sunday school… and for a Sunday school teacher who cared.
“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things’.” (Romans 10:14-15)