Regular readers know that I’m big on testimonies. I mean, if God is alive and active through his Spirit, then some of our fellow Christians should have experienced that activity. And it just happens that in my congregation, we just had an incredibly powerful testimony by one of our members, John Norman.
John has just graduated law school and is leaving town to work with the Navy. And it was while serving as a helicopter pilot in the Navy that his story begins. It’s a long presentation, but trust me: it’s worth your time to listen.
If you prefer, you can download the mp3s to your iPod or a CD and listen in the car. But listen. The person interviewing John is Shon Smith, our preacher.
While I’m at it, I have to relate this story, which some of you have likely seen before. But the best stories bear repeating.
I have the pleasure and honor of knowing former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings and his late son, John Mark. John Mark was born with Down’s Syndrome, and Coach Stallings admits how difficult it was for him to adjust when John Mark was born. After all, Coach Stallings had already had two girls and was looking forward to having a son — an athlete to follow in his footsteps.
In Surprised by the Voice of God, by Jack Deere, Coach Stallings recounts how his attitude was changed. One night he heard a noise coming from Johnny’s room.
I immediately went to check on him. When I opened the door, I discovered not one, but two boys sitting in Johnny’s crib. They were playing a game known only to them and squealing with laughter. The other baby turned to me, looked into my eyes with a piercing glance, and then suddenlyl disappeared.
To this day, I believe with all my heart that God allowed me to momentarily see Johnny’s guardian angel to encourage me for the years that lay ahead.
Coach Stallings was cut to the heart, seeing in the eyes of the second baby such disappointment in himself. Since that day, Coach Stallings came to accept and adore his son, and out that adoration grew a tremendous ministry of support for children with Down’s syndrome and for their parents. The good that Coach Stallings and John Mark have done is incalculable.
God still does miracles today.