After Bible study one night, a young lady came up to me and said, "I want to be a Lois!" She was referring to the service the day before at church when Michael had a young man give his testimony. When he asked Benny to come up, it took a few minutes for his almost 85 year old legs to get to the front. I called him young because he is just a toddler in the Lord. Jesus didn't have a place in his heart until almost two years ago. He stood in front of that microphone, with his head down, telling the crowd a little about his life. He said he was scared to death - that it was only the second time in his life that he spoke in front of a crowd.
He married Lois when they were in their early twenties and then he went to war. His company had over two hundred men when they left and only fifty something when they came back. There are lots of stories he has to tell about that time, but one was about when a grenade exploded in his face. After his return, there was not a night that he slept more than 4 hours. The nightmares kept him awake. He said when he got up around 2 or 3 every night that Lois would get up, make him coffee, and let him talk.
Benny said he's always had a horrible temper. Sometimes he would say a bad word or throw something and he would look at Lois and she would be smiling. He'd ask her what she was smiling about and she would say "I'm just praying for you." She prayed for him the whole 62 years they were married. Don't picture her as this quiet little thing. Her daddy was full blood Cherokee and her mom was full blood Irish. In Benny's words, "that makes a fiery combination!" He came in drunk one night and she used a house slipper to hit him. Not just once. Benny said his face was so sore he couldn't shave for a week.
He never went to church with her but she never stopped asking. When she was in the hospital a couple of years ago she knew she was dying and asked Benny for two things. She wanted a phone on both sides of her bed so it would be easy for whoever was in the room with her to get to the phone. Then she told him she wanted him to go to church and ask Jesus into his heart so that she could see him again. Benny did both. He went to a church in town and got baptized. He started coming out to meet with us on Sundays over a year ago. He and Michael sat down and they talked about the things that went on when he was in the war and he came away with a real peace. This past year he'll tell you he sleeps soundly all night long. Some of the men that were in his company during the war still call him. They've asked him why he can sleep now and he tells them "I found God!"
A couple of months ago he had a place come up on his nose that looked infected. His daughter was pressing on it and a piece of shrapnel popped out. A little later he got a call in the middle of the night from the VA hospital to get in immediately. They flew a surgeon in from the Mayo clinic to do surgery on his spine because shrapnel had lodged there. There were also two other pieces they took out. They believe that when he took the grenade to the face that somehow those pieces stayed in his body and eventually embedded themselves. Not only are the medical doctors amazed, the psychiatrists are as well. They've been questioning why he isn't troubled any more. Why he sleeps at night. He keeps telling them he's a Christian now but they aren't buying it. He asked Michael to go with him next week to his appointment. He's so cute.
We were eating with him yesterday and he was talking about Lois. You could see the tenderness in his face. I told him it seems like he feels closer to her now. He said to me, "I love her now more than I ever did". I was trying to keep my tears from falling into my charro beans. He in his refried.
He continues to be amazed by the love he feels. By the peace he feels. I'm pretty sure Jesus let Lois listen to her soldier when he quietly told these folks to never stop praying for the ones you love. I'm pretty sure He lets her watch as he mows the grass at the church. I'm pretty sure there are joyful tears in heaven.