Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 4, 2016

A Walk Down Memory Lane
October 4, 2016

Some of the neighborhood kids that we grew up with.  
Note that the boys really outnumbered the girls!  
I am in the red shorts.  The redhead is my brother.

This morning I went to the office about 9:30 because Ron had an early job.  He had two jobs in fact and was gone about 3-4 hours working on them.  It was very busy right after he left and then slowed down for a while.

At one point I went out to wait on a man and he looked a little familiar, but I could not place him.  We started talking and he asked if I was in the Landreth family and I said yes, I was Linda.  He then told me who he was.  We were in school together starting in first grade.  He must now be 70 years old as most of our classmates are.

He looked to be in very good shape, healthy and alert.  He was very eager to talk about the classmates that we knew.  I must admit, when he first told me his name, I replied, "Do you still get in as much trouble as you used to?"  (or something about like that).  He laughed and said, "Yes."

A funny thing is that over the years I have thought of this man often wondering how his life had turned out, because in all honesty, he was always in trouble at school.  If there was a fight on the playground, he probably started it.  If someone got kicked while we were lined up, he probably was the one who did the kicking.

We had a long talk - at least an hour - and he was very honest about those days and how angry he was with his life.  He lived about 3 blocks from our house and was right across the street from a good friend of mine.  My friend would talk about the trouble he would create in the neighborhood.  He came from a very large family.

He mentioned that he became a pilot in the service, during the Vietnam War.  He came back after his time in the service and became a pilot in Mexico.  I asked if the military straightened him out and he said no.  He shared a lot about those years and about the home life that led him to a life of anger and rebellion.  He has been writing books about those years and plans to bring me one to read.

After a long time of talking, including confirming that I know one of his sisters, I asked if in all those years in the service and flying in Mexico, had he ever found the Lord.  He quickly said, "No."  Yet as he talked about some close calls in life, he would mention praying.  I had to go help a customer and when I came back, he returned the conversation to the earlier brief discussion of the Lord.  He talked about not being interested in religion and I tried to explain it is not a religion that gets you to Heaven, but rather it is a personal relationship with the Lord.

Somehow, God turned the conversation (and I don't know exactly how He did it), and the next thing I knew I was telling him about the need to realize that he is a sinner and to ask God to forgive those sins.  He showed no real interest, except that he was the one who returned the conversation to talking about God.  I think God has kept him on my mind off and on over the years to prepare me for our encounter today, so that I could hopefully make him start thinking about eternity.  Interestingly some of the classmates he mentioned, I had forgotten, but I had not forgotten him.

He mentioned his 97 year old mother and I told him about my mom.  He remembered my mom and told me what a nice lady she was.  When I visited Mom later, as I told her about seeing this man today, she did not remember him at first.  Sometimes my mom feels she doesn't do enough to show God's love, but more and more often, my friends from over 60 years ago, will say they have such fond memories of her.  She was a lovely lady with a quick smile.  Sometimes we forget that some children never see that in their homes.  She gave our friends a feeling of being accepted, welcomed, and loved.  Sometimes that is the first step to them feeling worthy of being loved, when their home life was terrible.

My prayer is that this man will be surrounded by people who will have the courage to tell him about Jesus and that he will come to know the Lord as his personal Savior.  Again, I was thankful for my Cochlear Implant so that I could carry on a conversation.  God has so blessed me with this technology. 

Monday was a day of paperwork at the office.  I got a lot done.  Our friends were back for a trip to Missouri for a funeral and we met for supper since we did not get to do it on Thursday evening.  It was good to see them and hear about their trip.   

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