Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

September 30, 2010

My Little John

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Remember Robin Hood?  Remember his encounter with Little John?  Little John who became a close companion to Robin Hood was not so little!  In fact, he defied the name “Little.”

I had a “Little John” in my life, except his name was Bruce.  He was probably the largest fellow in our school —  perhaps in our community.  And he was tough!  But as gentle as a lamb.  But you would not know his kind spirit unless you were around him.  Otherwise, to see him, you were intimidated.

We enjoyed camping and fishing.  There were times when we would strike out suddenly on one of our trips.  I recall that following some school event, we high-tailed it for the lake some 50 miles away.  We would arrive late at the lake, but we knew our regular camping place, and we would be ready to fish at the break of dawn.

As we arrived at the lake, I dropped Bruce off at a fish camp where we often rented a row boat.  Obviously, they were closed at that time of night, but in those days the boats were not locked, nor the paddles removed from the boats.  Bruce left a note that we would come by the next morning and pay.  As he began to row across the lake, I drove around to our camping spot.

I started a fire so that Bruce could have a beacon to follow in the darkness.  As I waited for him, I began to set up the camp site.  I removed a few things from the car.  We would not bother to pitch a tent, but simply use a bed roll on the ground.  As I turned from the car toward the camp fire, I saw two men approaching from the woods close to the lake.

As they began to call out to me, I realized that they were not the “friendly, sociable type.”  They had been drinking and had consumed enough to make them ornery.  They were laughing and making remarks that they did not have good intentions toward finding me alone.

I began to back toward the car.  I knew my rifle was there, but doubted that I could get it and load it in time.  I confess I was scared.  I was not much of a prayer in those days, but I am sure I was calling out to God for help.

About the time the moment was reaching its peak, I looked past the two men and there was my “Little John.”  I will tell you that his walking from the water toward a fire that illuminated him, one could not tell if he was real, a ghost, or an angel!  But something made him appear even larger than he was!

The two men realized that someone was approaching.  They looked around and saw this giant of a man.  Without any apology or good-bye —  they were gone!  Oh, how thankful I am that I chose “big” friends!

As I remember, we decided not to put out trot lines that night for fear they would come into the camp while we were on the lake.  I am not even sure that we slept on the ground that night . . . we may have been miserable sleeping in the car!  Nevertheless, the night passed without any interruptions.

Interesting how an event like that can set you on edge and you have trouble sleeping.  Amd, am I the only one that has experienced that?  I doubt it.  Many of you would confess how something stirs your fears at bedtime and you miss the good night’s sleep you were expecting.

I know it sounds trite — but why should we fear if God is looking over us.  And He is.  As someone has said, “Go on to sleep.  God is on guard duty!”

“From his dwelling place he watches all who live on the earth.”  (Psalm 33:14)  “He who watches over you will not slumber.”  (Psalm 121:3)



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