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Hometown Hero Excerpt
by Todd Ewing
01/03/07
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CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE
Face to Face
May 21, 2002
Dale County, Florida

The Diamond Studs were on their own diamond, practicing. The baseball was thrown to third.
“Cole, where you supposed to be?” Coach Michaels shouted.
Cole, the pitcher, asked, “Backing up third?”
“Don’t say it like a question! Say it like you know it!”
David Gabriel was on the mound, pitching batting practice. His fastball was sixty miles an hour.
“You call that batting practice?” Thomas Jamison yelled at David.
“Yeah.”
Thomas walked to the mound. “I don’t.” He took the ball.
“Are you going to pitch to us?” Shaun Farrell asked. “I hope so. Hitting you will be easy.”
The other players laughed.
Thomas smiled. “Yeah.”
They laughed again. The players kept taunting him as he pitched.
When Tyler came to the plate, the fun really began. It was brother against brother. They trashed each other verbally. The other players laughed and had fun.
Thomas made a mistake, though. His fastball was right down the middle. Tyler hit it hard right back at Thomas. It struck his forehead.
As Thomas, the only person Tyler really cared for, collapsed to the ground, he shouted, “NO!”
Tyler stood there in shock as the other players ran toward the injured coach. His big brother might die. He stared at the aluminum bat in his hands.
They rushed Thomas to the hospital. Soon, Tyler was alone with his brother and leaned forward, his hands folded, as machines beeped. “OK, God. If You have something to say to me, say it now. If You save my big brother, I’ll serve You forever. I promise.”

Tyler walked into a Christian bookstore and bought a used Bible, then he took it home. Sitting on his bed, he opened it to the book of Job and began reading.

An hour later, Tyler was in Kendall, pulling into Laci’s church parking lot. He parked and thought over the situation with Laci. At the moment, her problems were worse than his, because they were fresh. Tyler’s wounds had been healing for six years.
After what happened to Thomas, Tyler finished the book Laci gave him and the book of Job, then he thought over all the things that happened to him since he was six years old. There was only one path left to take the one that led to God.
Laci, seeing Tyler pull into the lot, felt confused. If he was there to speak with the pastor, he wouldn’t be there that late. A shiver went down her spine as she watched Tyler walk into the church. Nothing but good could come of that. She walked toward the church after him in case Tyler needed help. After all, they were friends.

Tyler entered the Kendall Baptist Church and stopped when he saw the statue of Jesus, His arms extended to everyone. Staring at the statue, Tyler walked forward, mesmerized by its beauty. A sensation pierced him as he came face-to-face with it. Tyler went to his knees and gripped the statue’s hands, staring into the eyes that seemed as if they were crying.
Tears fell down Tyler’s cheeks like rain. He closed his eyes, then reopened them.

Laci entered the church quietly, watching Tyler. More chills went down her spine when she saw him walk toward the statue and hold its hands. She rubbed her stomach, then, as Tyler began to sing I Want to Know What Love Is, she began crying softly.
Tyler’s awesome voice filled the church. He was coming face-to-face with Jesus, and it was wonderful to see. Tyler poured out his heart as he sang with tears on his face. His body shook with emotion.

Tyler had to take a little time,
A little time to think things over,
In case he needed it when he was older.
This mountain he just had to climb
Felt like the world upon his shoulders.
Through the clouds, he saw love shining through.
It kept him warm when things grew colder.

In Tyler’s life there was heartache and pain.
He did not know if he could face his problems again.
He could not stop now.
Tyler had traveled so far to change his tormented life.

Tyler wanted to know what love was.
He wanted Jesus to show him.
He wanted to feel what love was.
He knew Jesus could show him.

Tyler had to take a little time,
A little time to look around.
He had no place to hide.
It looked like love had finally found him.
In Tyler’s life was heartache and pain.

Tyler wanted to know what love was.
He knew Jesus could show him.
He wanted to know what love was.
He wanted Jesus to show him.

Tyler wanted to talk about love.
Real love,
Love that Jesus felt inside.
He wanted Jesus to show him.
He was feeling a lot of love.
He wanted to feel what love was.
He just could not hide it.
He knew Jesus could show him.
He knew.
He just knew.
He knew Jesus could show him.

After Tyler finished, a tingle shot down his left arm. He released the hands and fell to the statue’s feet, sobbing. Laci’s hands went from her stomach to her face as she, too, began crying. At least on one subject, her prayers had been answered.
Laci walked up to him.
“I know I’m a sinner,” Tyler said, still weeping. “Please forgive me of my sins and cleanse me.”
Laci went to her knees, placing her right arm around him. Tyler was sweating profusely as he cried. “Shhh. It’s OK. I’m so proud of you.”
They stayed like that for many minutes.



If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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