By way of explanation, “The Ernie Project” is where I am publishing on my blog a series called “Hello from the Pastor” that my father, Ernie, wrote each week for the Sunday bulletins of the small church where he was the senior pastor for many years. When my father died in 2012 I inherited his three binders full of his “Hello from the Pastor” works. I think these written pieces are as wonderful today as they were when he penned them in the eighties and nineties. You can read them for yourself here, and be the judge of if I’m right.
The Ernie Project no. 10
From binder no. 3 – originally dated 24 Feb 85
Hello from the Pastor!
By Reverend Ernest Richter
KNOCKED FLAT BY A LITTLE OLD LADY
Have you ever noticed how often we are tripped up by little things. I went splat recently when out on my exercise walk, and what do you think sent me ingloriously head over heels? Would you believe a little piece of baling wire. It makes you think.
It made me think of all the little things that have decked me in my life. It especially made me think of the little old lady who knocked me flat one night. I was 18, she was probably 80. I was lean and muscular, she was small and frail. But I was knocked flat and she stood victorious.
I had gone to church that night because I didn’t have anything better to do. I was lonely. I was unhappy. I was in the prime of life and the best of health, and the worst of spirits. I had been searching for something to give meaning to my life to make me happy, but I hadn’t found it. I was miserable.
It was then that the little old lady crumpled me. I’ll never forget the blow. I didn’t even see it coming. All she did was stand to testify to God’s love and grace in her life. Her words were few and simple. It had been a hard year for her. She had not been well. She had to sell her house. But O how she loved God, and how she praised him for his grace and goodness! I couldn’t believe it! I turned to look at her. There she stood, just a little old lady who had everything I dearly wanted. She had joy and peace. As she spoke I felt her words like a gloved fist beating at my heart. I fell to my knees weeping uncontrollably. O God, I prayed, make me like her.
I’ve never regretted being knocked flat by that little old lady, because when I got up, I got up with God. And who knows, someday I may even be like her!
Footnote from me, Ernie’s kid – There is no question. My dad was exactly like her. Just sayin’. And who knows, someday I may even be like them…
The result of my father being “knocked flat” back in 1954 at the age of 18 was a lifetime of service to the Lord and to others. Here is a photo of my Dad dedicating a newly built Athletes in Action ball field to the the Lord in Xenia, Ohio in 2009. He was 73. This is only one instance from thousands where my dad gave public testimony to the Lord and his goodness since that day that he became a Christian. I’d say that little old lady really packed a powerful punch! For the whole ball field story go here http://m.daytondailynews.com/news/sports/out-of-tragedy-comes-triumph-of-gradys-field/nM3sM/