I was sitting here thinking about my late Papaw Carver and of the many stories about him and there is one I'd like to share. It is a story that I believe involved the work of God though some may chalk it up to coincidence.
Back in the 40's I think it was, Papaw and his family lived on Long Island in Kingsport real close to Eastman Corp. where Papaw worked. They had a milk cow but did not have a fence so they had the cow chained to an iron stake that was driven into the ground. The cow pulled the stake out and got loose. Papaw's wife, kids and even the neighbors searched that field over but could not find that iron stake. They searched every inch of that field but never could find the stake. I have no idea what they did with the cow.
Some time later Papaw was working the grave yard shift at Eastman and he always walked to work through that field where they had staked the cow. Back in those days, Long Island was known to be a bad part of town (lots of crime). Anyway... While Papaw was walking through that field, he was attacked by three men who evidently planed to beat him up or perhaps even kill him and rob him. Now Papaw was rough man. He originally was a logger out of North Carolina and had been in a few scraps in his time. But this was three on one and though Papaw was giving them all he had, it was not enough. He was loosing and weakening. Then.... one of the men hit him hard and he fell backward so hard that when he hit the ground his hands flew back over his head. But, he he he..... his hands landed on that iron stake that was not supposed to be there! He came up swinging and he hurt one of the men pretty bad and they all ran.
Now normally it would seem that a story which contained violence would not be a story that a Christian should be writing about and would have no spiritual significance. I believe however that God was watching out for Papaw. I believe the cow pulled the stake out of the ground for a reason. I believe no one could find the stake for a reason, and I believe Papaw finding it at the time and place that the did is no accident.
Well, I might as well tell you something else about Papaw. At the time that this happened he was not saved. To be honest, Papaw in those days was brawler and a heavy drinker. A few years later, after they had moved to West View (another community in Kingsport where 90% of my family live or are from) a woman began to come visit him to talk about the Lord. Grandma was already saved. That woman used to irritate Papaw and he would hide if he saw her coming. She kept coming. Somewhere along the way Papaw got saved. He went from one extreme to the other. He was passionate about the Lord. He loved church. He was a shouter! They said the came out of the water shouting when he was baptized. That old woman that he used to hide from........ he loved that woman very much and she was very special to him. Papaw would have prayer meetings at his house often and people in the neighborhood would come in and they would have singing, preaching, and prayer. I never got to know him very well. The Lord took him in 1965 when I was only 7 years old. But thatís O.K., Iíll get to know him later.