Bad Boy Gone Good



They say that women who love their father, look for a husband that is like their father. Who is "they" anyway? They are sometimes wise and some times so very foolish. But in this, I think "they" are wise.

There once was a little boy who was born to into a country western band. The Moma and the Papa spent most nights to the wee hours singing at a bar they owned. There is much ugliness that I shant express here, but suffice it to say that alcohol exerted a truly bad influence on the family. The band broke up, the bar was lost, the farm land was sold along with the equipment and the family was torn to shreds. Eight children were tossed onto a rocky road when the Moma and the Papa divorced. The oldest daughter took the youngest children home with her to raise so they'd at least get a good dose of care and attention. Even if they didn't have indoor plumbing or a TV, they had new shoes for the winter and went to school instead of laboring in the fields.

There are some things that I do not have permission to share, so there will be plenty of blanks.

The little boy grew up into a fine and handsome young man. His heart was tender and full of mercy. He loved his Moma and tried to care for his Papa. He made some bad choices concerning wives and money and addictive things. Although, he did not have Jesus, he was one of those Good ole Boys, never meaning no harm. He took his Moma to the Pentacostal church until they found out she was divorced and so was he. They became cold and distant to them, ignoring them. The same thing happened at the Church of God of Prophecy. The Baptist church opened their arms to them and it was there he found Jesus the One and Only. His life turned around. He went from a Good ole' Boy to a truly wonderful, Holy Spirit filled man.

I wish you could hear his testamony as he has told it to me! I wish you could see how he moved back to this poverty stricken area so he could take care of his mom... how he's one of the faithful the deacons call on when things need doing around the church and for church members... how he studies the Sunday School lesson deeply with all the Bible verses and the background so he can teach those young men in his class... how he led one young man to Christ... how he put on old clothes, came and got me and we went to clean up a bloody mess when one a precious, 7 year old child was accidently shot to death so the grandmother wouldn't have to clean up her own grandchild's blood... how he witnessed to his stepson and ex-wife then joyously came and told me all about it!... how he diligently prays for his lost brothers and sisters and his 28 nieces and nephews, gently urging them toward Jesus, living for Jesus, ever ready to do as God bids him.

I noticed him the instant he walked into church. He was sitting over on the right. I wondered silently who he was. I had worked really hard to get to a point where I was very content in my singleness. I was delighting myself in the Lord and I was so happy with all that He was teaching me, and using me. I was finally healed from two devasting divorces. Life was good. I was going to graduate in December and I was looking forward to finding a job where I could work from my home. So, I just noticed him, then forgot him.

He moved from the back on the right to the side section. He sat right where I could see him when the choir sat down. Cute... no, handsome was a better word.

He joined the church. I shook his hand. "Glad to have you!" He smiled a crooked little smile and I noticed his eyes were green, no brown, no green. Hazel.

Months went by. He came to church even on Wednesday nights. He had no wedding ring on. Now, this is not unusual for a man who works with his hands. It isn't unusual for a lot of men. I dismissed thinking about him because some wives don't come to church with their husbands. In my church, some husbands and wives don't even sit together. I decided right off that I must keep pure thoughts because there just wasn't any eligible men in Tensas, much less any eligible men who loved the Lord more than life itself! That ended my "looking" or "shopping". Besides, I was divorced and who wants used goods these days?

One day, he opened the door for me and I found out his name was Cleve. People called him Rabbit, so I asked why. He said, because his grandmother took her first look at him with his little baby butt up in the air when he was asleep and called him a little Peter Rabbit. The name stuck. Folks in this area think nothing of nick names: Squirrel, Coonie, Mad Dog, Loonie, the list goes on...


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