Eastern Kentucky is a world unto itself. And it is populated by a whole bunch of Baptist Churches, and other sorts as well. This week we were fortunate enough to have Francis McNutt’s wife, Judith, here at Asbury for a healing conference. In the process of preaching in chapel, we got the following story.
Judith, as it turns out, is a Kentucky girl. She grew up in Jackson Kentucky, a little wide place in the road, not that far from Camden Kentucky. Anyway, there was a little Baptist Church in one of these little towns with about 30 members. And those 30 members were all concerned about the eternal destiny of Charley, a rather well known lothario, and prone to hit the bottle too. In small town Kentucky these are sure signs that you are going straight to H-E-double L.
Charley had become this church’s long term prayer project, and there came a day when he was nigh onto old, and he had to go into the hospital and it didn’t look good. As Judith tells it, when she was visiting her relatives down that way, she got enlisted to go make a pastoral call on Charley in the hospital. When she got there, all 30 members of that church were out in the waiting room just down the hall from Charley’s room.
Judith entered the room and went over to the bed and saw Charley. She said “Charley, there’s a whole church out there in the lobby praying for you.”
He responded: “I know, I can hear them.”
“Well,” said Judith, “Have you given your life to Christ yet?”
Charley just smiled, and after a dramatic pause said, “I did that a long time ago.”
Judith was non-plussed and said “Well why in the world didn’t you tell any of these folks out there in hall who have been praying for you for years? I mean the whole church is out there praying.”
Charley smiled again and said “I didn’t want to deprive them of their mission in life. As far as I could see, I was it!”
So Judith smiled and went out into the lobby and said, “Good News, Charley’s given his life to Christ!!”
And dat’s all I got to say about dat.”