At this time, we were going to the First Presbyterian church in Uvalde. Frank Walker was the pastor and we liked Frank a lot. He asked me to be the Assistant Sunday school superintendent so I accepted but really did not know a lot about the job. Frank was a hunter and hunted with a crossbow. I got so tickled listening to him tell about the time he shot a javelina hog. These animals are very aggressive and they will attack you if you are not careful. One time Frank shot one of these boars and the wounded hog started after him. He sat down on the ground, and put his feet against the crossbow to get another arrow ready to shoot. Frank’s description of sitting down in the brush trying to hurry and get another arrow off, all the time watching that javelina boar hog, with its long tusks lumbering toward him was a scream. Fortunately he did get another arrow off and stopped the charge. The boar dropped less than ten feet from him.
As I said, Frank was the Presbyterian pastor and his good friend Jim was the pastor at the Baptist Church. They were both in our Kiwanis club and they used to joke that they were going to go together and build a duplex to live in. Frank would take the side with the shower and Jim would take the side with the tub.
Frank was the one that got us going back to church. My church attendance had been pretty poor from 1945 until about 1953. I had a tent mate in the Philippians that was a Baptist preacher and he cussed and drank a lot. He really turned me off of religion because he was such a hypocrite. That was before I realized that men supposedly representing God, no matter how religious or well meaning, would fail me. They are, after all, men. However, God will never fail me. The religious leader, whether Pastor, Preacher or Priest has very little to do with my bond with Jesus Christ. He can help me understand about Jesus but he cannot incorporate Christ within my own spirit. I learned the slow way that one can know all about Christ and never really know Christ. When we incorporate the indwelling Holy Spirit, it is only then that we become new persons in Christ.
Whether he is a man of the cloth or layman, a man's words and actions are so frequently used by others as a yardstick or measurement not only to judge that person but also to judge Jesus Christ. That is exactly what I had done. I had judged the Church and Jesus by that man's actions. Frank Walker was a true friend to me. He helped me work my way through these false conclusions, finally realizing how shallow and wrong I had been not to realize that any man's actions could not define God. We can emulate Jesus but we all fall short, none of us are completely without sin. For example, I can verbalize how I should forgive but when it comes to really forgiving and loving that person who has hurt me so deeply I fall short. If we truly endeavor to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ and LOVE GOD AND OUR FELLOW MEN WE WILL DO WELL. Well dearly beloved, there is my sermon for the day.
Photo of angry javelina found here.
Photo of Uvalde church found here.