Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 1, 2012

Memories of a Spent Casing

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I can’t explain why some things come to mind.  But it did the other evening!  There was a flash back . . . and it was though I was there again.

1993 . . .  just outside Waco, Texas!  I stood among the rubble where 80 people inside the building had died — a third of them children!  My heart was saddened . . . my spirit overcome!  Why?  Why?

Part of the answer surfaced as I kicked some debris with my shoe.  Looking down I saw a spent casing from an automatic weapon!  One spent cartridge that had been overlooked by the FBI as they had investigated!  That spent casing would remain in our family — historical evidence that some people can be committed to a cause, even to the cost of their life!

Do you remember this tragedy?  History refers to it as the siege on the Branch Davidians!  This group organized as a splinter group in the 1950s from a group disfellowshipped from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church some 20 years earlier.

A young man Vernon Wayne Howell joined this group.  He was looking for something in life.  He found acceptance with this group. After becoming part of the Branch Davidians, he changed his name to David Koresh — linking his name to King David and declaring he was the final prophet!

Through manipulation and violence, he became the leader of the Branch Davidians.  He felt he had the ability to relate visions and required obedience to “his” law.  Many of his teachings and sordid values involved children and matters of underage sexual activity. Law enforcement was confronted with many legal issues surrounding this compound and the practices involved. Many times the local authorities sought to visit the compound to investigate.

Karesh refused openness to the compound, and the result was  a raid on the compound by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  This raid resulted in the deaths of four agents and six Davidians.

Because of the death of the four federal agents, the FBI was called in to take command of the operation.  For 51 days there was a standoff.  Negotiations soon failed, and the FBI prepared an assault on the compound.  With a stash of weapons inside, the Davidians opened fire on the agents.  With no other choice, they began to fire back.  A fire within the compound erupted.

When the fire was extinguished, 80 people had died within the compound.  As I looked at that casing and the rubble all about, questions came.  Why?  Why?

Why will some people follow a leader until death?  David Koresh was able to convince people that they needed to give their lives to him — follow him at all cost!  Koresh was a cultist!  He manipulated the Bible to substantiate his  wrong view of his role in this world!  There are many names that we call such a person . . .  and I would be harsh to use such words!

But I will not be harsh on those who died following him.  Oh, true, they did not think for themselves . . . but they were probably looking for someone who would give them hope in the world!  Someone who would give them a sense of security and protection!

I cannot condemn those who followed him.  You see . . . I am such a person.  I need in my life one who will give me hope!  One who can give me promises of eternity!  One I can know intimately and follow!  One who can be my Saviour!

Yes, I need one to whom I can give my life without reservations!  One to whom I am willing to die for!

And . . . I found that One!  His Name is Jesus Christ!  Oh, I am blessed that I discovered Truth . . . a Person, the Son of God!




  1. Very thought provoking. I was once a part of a cultist group, Jehovah’s Witnesses of the Watchtower Society. It brought division in my family and among friends. Everyday I give thanks that I was delivered from that organization and brought into a personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Comment by Jody Jeffers — December 2, 2012 @ 5:38 am | Reply

  2. What a horrible thing to happen and to experience the location. I have a cousin that was led away by a cult and has refused any contact with her family. When the family tried to reach out to her she got a restraining order. They found out where she was working and tried to go there to set up a time to talk with her. She called the police and the family was led away. The family is devistated.

    God bless these victims and give some kind of peace to their families! Praise God Jody that you were delivered!

    Comment by doriswhite — December 6, 2012 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

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