Mr. Chester


Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Vicky and I were going door to door rounding up the children for Sidewalk Sunday School. The kids without exception, were always joyful to see us. This event was one of the highlights of their life at the time. They were so eager for love and hugs. The parents were generally not that happy to see us at all. We were more of a pain to them because they had to answer the door for us at least twice a week… once for visitation and once for Sidewalk Sunday School.

As we walked through one patio gate to get to the door, there sat Mr. Chester in a lawn chair. He was quite obviously in a lot of pain. His face expressed his pain as his hands held his side and his belly. I slowly knelt down in front of him at his feet and Mrs. Vicky continued to approach the front door. I looked the gentleman in the eye and could see his distress. In gentleness I asked him, “Sir, if you died right now, do you know whether you would go to heaven or not?”

Mr. Chester shook his head slowly from side to side and said, “No, I don’t know.”

I told him about Jesus and prayed a salvation prayer with him. Then we quietly prayed for his healing as his daughter Dannie talked with my Vicky in the doorway. I recognized her as someone Vicky and I had gone to get some medicine for a few months back, but that was all I knew about her. I asked Mr. Chester how old he was as we were leaving. He was 89… “going to be 90 in two months”… and he said “Thank you so much for praying with me, I’m not going to complain anymore.”

I told him to read from the New Testament every day and he said he couldn’t see well enough to read. I told him to make someone read to him every day. Then we left.

A month later our telephone rang at the house. It was Dannie. We had exchanged telephone numbers when we ran the medicine errand in the summer. She was talking a little fast and said several times, “I got to know, I just got to know, Mr. Dave.”

“What is it that you got to know, Miss Dannie?”

“My daddy died yesterday and so many around me are telling me he wasn’t saved. I got to know if you said a prayer with my daddy that day so he could go to heaven?”

“Yes ma’am, I did.”

“I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. From the day you and him prayed, he would ask me to read the Bible to him every day.”

Then I asked her, “Danny, have you ever had an unsaved man ask you to read the Bible to him every day?”

She said with great enthusiasm, “Praise God, no I haven’t!” That was her confirmation.

God had placed Vicky and I at just the right place… at just the right time.

Then Dannie shared a few things with Vicky and I and asked if we would come to Mr. Chester’s funeral the next day. We accepted.

We were the only white people in the place when we showed up so we sat near the back at the funeral home so we wouldn’t cause any distraction. But I could feel in the spirit that tension was rising. That was kind of strange for a funeral.

Miss Dannie was seated on the front row. She must have felt what Vicky and I were feeling… and she turned around to see what was going on. When Miss Dannie saw us, she came all the way to the back pew and leaned over… looking us right in the eye and told us, “Come with me.”

We followed her and she sat us on the front row, right next to her. We were totally surprised and I leaned over and asked her, “Are you sure this is what you want?” You could literally feel the tension in the room rise.

She pointed at us as she said, “If it weren’t for y’all, my Daddy wouldn’t be in heaven right now. I don’t care what these people think. You sittin’ right here with me… and I don’t want to hear nothing more about it.”

The funeral was really nice and we were really blessed to be there.

This world is not about race or color… it is about darkness and light… and we are supposed to move as many as we can from darkness and deception over into light and revelation. I am so glad that God didn’t hate white people… because I would have went to hell. And with Chester… Chester is so glad that God didn’t hate black people… because Chester would have went to hell. As it is… God saved us both… and though Chester cannot come to see me again… I will surely go to see him. You think he’s gonna be smiling when I see him… I’d say so….

Not proper English… many that went to hell don’t care a thing about proper English… they just wish somebody would have said anything.



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