Friday, September 4, 2009
Sick 'em, Holy Ghost
R.W. Schambach is one of my favourite storytellers. At one crusade I heard of a faithful mother who had interrupted the evangelist in mid-message.
"Preacher," she said, "I am running out of time and I need your prayers and the prayers of this assembly. My son is in prison and on death row for a murder he did not commit. He has exhausted his appeals. He goes to the chair tomorrow morning at ten o'clock. Man of God, do something for my son and do it quickly!"
Brother Schambach led the congregation in desperate prayer and finished by saying, "This young man must not die. The real offender must come forward. Sick 'em, Holy Ghost!". The mother nodded, turned abruptly and marched down the aisle and out of the Gospel tent.
What had Schambach done? Laying it all on the line like that. Commanding God, it seemed, in no uncertain terms. It would take the gift of faith for this one.
Two mornings after, leaving a breakfast grill, the evangelist saw the newspaper stand and approached it without hesitation. Buying a copy, he was thrilled by the headline: "Eleventh Hour Rescue from the Chair!" Reading it hastily he learned that the District Attorney had gotten a late night phone call. The man on the other end stated, "Sir, you are about to fry the wrong man. I did it and I can prove it. My conscience won't let me do otherwise."
The caller then went on to relate features of the murder scene never made public, and offered feasible explanations for some of the details which had always puzzled the police. The prison warden had been called and the execution postponed pending further developments. Schambach said that right there on the sidewalk he had one of those "Pentecostal spasms".
Thank God for mothers who refuse to give up. Thank God for believers who ask largely in prayer. God partners with them and does great things.