It was dawn early Saturday morning and the sun was just beginning to peak. There was heavy dew and a slight fog created a hazy dawning.
Upon leaving the bars just past midnight from a long night of partying and driving for more than five hours from Amarillo, Texas, I had finally made it back safely to Grandma’s house in Duncan. As I quietly unlocked the front door and began to move carefully through the living room, trying not to wake Grandma as I made my way to the back of the house to my old room, I glanced to my left and saw that Grandma’s bedroom door was open. She was kneeling beside her bed praying and her dark room was illuminated by God’s glory.
I had seen this once before when I walked in and found Grandma praying. It was as though a small lamp was shining just above her head. Now, you can try to reason this away, but I saw this happen twice throughout her life with my very own eyes. Grandma was an exceptionally “holy” lady.
When she heard me, she jumped to her feet (she was in her mid-70s at the time) and came running over to me, hugging and kissing me. She had little stubbly whiskers I will never forget, and she said to me, “Oh child, the Lord has delivered you home safely. Praise God! Praise God! He has delivered you from the devil and the pits of hell.”
Then, she began to share with me that approximately two hours earlier, the Lord had awakened her and told her to begin praying because Satan was trying to kill me and take me to hell. She had been on her knees ever since, crying out to the Lord on my behalf.
What she didn’t know was that two hours earlier, I was about 10 miles west of Indiahoma, Okla., running a little over 90 mph asleep, or passed out at the wheel. I was suddenly awakened when the front passenger tire of my 1969 Chevy Impala blew out. I could see the long, well-lit speedometer when I awoke and could see that I was traveling more than 90 mph, heading straight toward the huge side-beams of a mile-long bridge. The old steel bridge had enormous, arched support beams and I had crossed the center line and was heading straight toward death until the tire blew out. When the tire blew, I was only 20-30 feet from crashing. The sudden blowout jerked my vehicle clear to the other side and it was a though an angel of the Lord took hold of the steering wheel and drove me safely past the end of the bridge, steering me clear of the huge boulders lining the ravines on each side of the highway that used to prevent washout. My vehicle drove down the shoulder, parallel with the ravine until there was an entrance into a pasture. Somehow, the car miraculously found the only dirt road entrance into the huge pasture beside the river, taking down the barbwire gate and about ¼ mile of fence line, and came to a stop. As I looked around, I was in the middle of this pasture in the only clearing where Johnson grass wasn’t six feet tall, and on the only solid ground that could support a tire jack. Everything around was wet and muddy from the spring rains.
When I finally came to my senses, I sobered up in a hurry. I sat in awe, thinking of how I had woke up just minutes before, glanced at the speedometer and all I could see was those huge steel beams and my life flashing before my eyes. Needless to say, I knew in my heart that my life had just been spared and that an angel of God had driven my car from the instant my tire blew to precisely this particular spot.
After some time, I gathered my senses and got out of the car. I changed the tire, pulled fence and weeds from the bumper and front-end of the car, backed out soberly drove to Duncan, safely into Grandma’s driveway.
I never told Grandma was had happened that night, but she was so close to God that He filled her in, I am sure. As miraculous and supernatural as this night was, it unfortunately did not make a changing impression on my life until many years later. As I recount this story, I can see it as clearly as though it happened just yesterday. I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed this memory to stay so fresh in my mind.
You can probably imagine from the last chapter and how I had destroyed my relationship with my stepfather, the reason I was now living with my grandmother. Sometime after coming home from Kansas and getting healed from the surgery on my appendix, I had moved in with the woman who I now know made the single greatest impact on my entire life, although the fruits of her seeds would not come forth for many, many years to come.
Had I all the tongues of the renowned men on earth, and all the excellences of the angels in heaven, I still would not be able to express what a saint my grandmother was, nor the character that she instilled in me. Unknown to me for the few years that I was so close to Grandma, living and working from her house, she was planting some powerful seeds in my heart. These seeds began to produce a beautiful garden many years later. I am sure she is smiling to see the fruits of her labor finally at work in my life.
Grandma’s been with the Lord for more than 20 years now, but she speaks even louder to me now than ever before. I read one time that Christians not only know how to live better, but they know how to die better, as well. I was so fortunate to be by my grandmother’s bedside for the short time before she went to be with Jesus. The Lord let her lie there with absolutely no pain and allowed all of the family to spend quality moments with her. She had a huge family with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. It took a week for everyone to say their good-byes and as she departed this world and headed home to be with Jesus, she was smiling all the way.
From the day my grandmother was old enough to talk until she went home to be with the Lord, her life was about serving Jesus. My grandmother went beyond living for Jesus – He lived through her, as well, for every awakened hour that I knew her.
My grandmother was a sacramental personality – wherever she went, Jesus helped Himself to her life. Many of us are after our own desires and Jesus Christ cannot help Himself to our lives. If we abandon ourselves to Jesus, we have no desires of our own left to serve. Grandmother knew how to be a “doormat” without resenting it, because the mainspring of her life was her devotion to Jesus.
The real test of the saint it not preaching the gospel, but in washing the feet of its disciples. That is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of God. This illustration described my grandmother to a tee. Although two and a half decades have now passed, people around Duncan still talk about this amazing prayer warrior and intercessor named Sister Foster – the same woman I had the privilege to call Grandma.
She knew what it meant to separate herself from the world. She never did allow a television set in her home. She never drove or had a driver’s license. She spent her life in church, reading the Word, praying, praying, praying and raising up a godly generation – many of which did not ripen until her time had passed, but the seeds she planted all came to a crop. I only wish mine had not been so hard or taken so long.
My grandmother knew the Proverb 22:6 which states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
I lived with my grandmother off and on for several years and never did she lose the character of Jesus’ love with me – even when I stole her social security money and lied to her. She knew deep inside her heart I had taken it and that I was lying, but she just said, “It’s all right honey, the Lord will provide.”
I have cried many tears while writing this chapter and reliving my memories of Grandma, many of which I have not even mentioned. I just touched on some of the high points so that you might see the importance of planting godly seeds into the lives of those entrusted to you. Her life’s example should also encourage intercessory prayers. Never give up on your loved ones because I am a living miracle and a product of my grandmother’s prayers. My mother and I, both are.
You can contact Dennis at: firstname.lastname@example.org