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I’ve Never Walked Alone

This is a story I wrote about being scared during a thunderstorm when I was three years old.

Lightning flashing, thunder crashing—I was a frightened three-year old. The continual loud thunder right outside our three-room, frame farm house rattled the windows and shook the house. When I began crying with fear, Mom rushed to my side, picked me up and sat down in her rocker. She hugged me against her and began explaining about thunder and lightning and telling me that God protected His children.

She recited the 23rd Psalm; “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. ”

Mom repeated the 23rd Psalm, teaching me to recite it with her. I felt comforted and sheltered in the arms of my mother and God. The storm moved on taking the loud, scary thunder away. I resumed playing on the floor and Mom returned to the kitchen. I have never forgotten the lesson I learned that afternoon and the deep faith in God that Mom instilled in me through the years. Even though Mom cannot comfort me in her arms anymore, God still comforts me. I’ve never walked alone.

When I was 21, at home with my little brother and sister in southwestern Oklahoma, it began getting dark one afternoon as huge, black clouds rolled in. It became so quiet and still that we could hear a neighbor’s tractor across a field as if it were in our yard. I decided it was time to take my brother and sister to the tornado cellar. As I opened the screen door, a sudden roaring wind ripped the door out of my hand and slammed it against the wall. I rushed my brother and sister back in the kitchen and we crawled under the kitchen table. I expected the house to come down all around us.

I began reciting the 23rd Psalm as we listened to the horrible roar of the wind. Suddenly, it was quiet; the wind had died down. As I took my brother and sister to the cellar, I saw many limbs and my ham radio antenna on the ground. A neighbor called to see if we were okay. He had seen a tornado touch down southwest of the house and come straight for us. It lifted as it reached the tree line around the house, rolled horizontally across us and dipped back to the ground again across the road on the northeast side of the house. We and the house were unscathed. I thanked God for protecting us. I’ve never walked alone.

Four years later, I lived in a small three-room shack nestled under a giant almond tree near the beach on Grand Bahama Island. I was a contractor for the Air Force, tracking missiles. My wife and children were back in Oklahoma because she was about to give birth to our third child. One night, as I sat in the house alone, a storm moved in. I heard the thunder from lightning about a mile away. The lightning moved closer until it was striking all around our place. I could hear the thunder at the same time I saw the lightning flashes. The almost continuous thunder crashes were frightening, just like 22 years before.

I worried that lightning would strike the giant tree above our house. I began reciting the 23rd Psalm. The storm moved off slowly and I finally went to sleep after thanking God for His protection. I’ve never walked alone.

A couple of years later, we lived in Florida. One summer afternoon, while my wife and family were visiting relatives in Oklahoma, I came home from work and opened the back door to look at huge clouds rolling in. As I stood in the doorway, a lightning strike hit the TV antenna above my head. The loud crash of thunder was deafening. My heart raced rapidly. In a daze, I walked into the living room and sat down on the sofa.

I began reciting the 23rd Psalm. After a few minutes, I looked around and assessed the damage. Pieces were dangling from the TV antenna above the roof. A two-foot diameter area behind the TV was burned black in the concrete terrazzo floor under the lead-in. I had disconnected the TV lead-in from the TV before going to work that morning; therefore the TV was not damaged. I thanked God that I was not injured and the house was not damaged. I’ve never walked alone.

Many incidents similar to these have happened throughout our lives. I thank God daily for His protection. I’ve never walked alone.

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