Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies
Truth can be stranger than fiction
I grew up in a small county town called Blue Ridge, where truth was often stranger than fiction. I lived in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia in Botetourt County. Just a mile behind us there were people who actually lived at the base of the mountain. They were not like the hillbillies you see on television but where just regular folk, black and white who worked everyday and went to church and were as normal as anyone else.
When I was in the eighth grade in junior high school,(what is now called middle school,) my younger brother was a sixth grader in elementary school. He told me an amazing story one day that has come back to me often over the decades I shared it on two other writing sites which have long since been shut down. It thought of it today. just as clear as it was told to me 47 years ago. So once again so share this truth. My brother drowned in 1993 and I don't recall the name of the girl who first shared this information. I believe it bares repeating so I tell it once more.
A family concerned
My brother Bill was sixth-grader at the local elementary school and one of his classmates shared something pretty distressing. I believe her story because in 1972 in the county where I grew up, most children I knew were innocent and truthful. This was day and age long before the internet and all we knew was what we experienced or were told by our families. This was an area where most everyone attended church and considered themselves as Christians and it was a family-type atmosphere. The nature of this story is not anything an eleven-year-old girl would want to happen. In my opinion, if she had made up a lie it would have been more elaborate. So I share what my brother told me that this girl in his class shared with several classmates. You the reader can believe it or not. Perhaps someone reading has had a similar unfortunate experience.
This young lady's grandfather was ill and in the hospital. He was a stubborn man and did not believe in God. When doctors said they had done all they could for him, the family went to his hospital room. They began asking him if he would please at this point accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, but he refused. This man had lived his entire life without believing in God and his family, being Christian were concerned for his soul's salvation. They did not want him to die and spend eternity in hell.
The battle between good and evil
I have no idea how many opportunities this grandfather may have had in his life to accept Christ, but with a Christian family, he obviously had heard the gospel or at least had someone attempt to present it to him. For this reason, I don't believe that what happened on his death bed was the only time this choice was put before him. The granddaughter said that on this particular day her grandad's condition had taken a turn for the worse. He was moaning and groaning in agony. and the family knew his time was short. They began praying around his bed and again telling him that he needed to repent of his sins and ask Jesus into his heart.
The grandfather was obviously between the realms of this world and the afterlife because he no longer addressed those who were in the room. He began screaming and begging for help. The family members continued to tell him to call on Jesus, but he did not. Instead, he became frantic, shouting that his feet were burning and that "they" were pulling him into the fire. He pleaded for help and for someone to please pull him out of the burning fire because “they” were pulling him. I can only imagine this chaotic scene that was taking place. A loving family want to see their father and grandfather in heaven and are asking him to choose eternal life through Christ. He is now dying and feeling the flames of hell and demons tugging at him. A battle of good and evil is taking place and sadly evil won that day, as the grandfather died without ever calling on Christ.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston