Thursday, July 7, 2016

DK--a Short Story

A how-it-might-have-been short story.

Hi, folks! My name is Eutychus--after my great-grandfather on my mother's side, but my friends all call me Ty. I was a DK--deacon's kid, that is. Most of the time, being a DK wasn't too bad, but there were times when it was a real drag. My dad always said I had to set a good example.

Other than that, I guess I was a typical church-going teenager. I cut my teeth on the back of the pew, took my first steps down the aisle of my church, and memorized the Ten Commandments in Sunday school in the junior department. I grew up on stories about Moses, David, and Daniel instead of Sponge Bob or Harry Potter that were so popular with my friends.

I always kind of took church for granted--until the week that changed my life, that is. But I'm getting ahead of my story.

I've loved the Lord ever since I can remember. Deep down, I really wanted to serve Him. But sometimes I wished I could go fishing or play ball with some of my school friends on Sunday mornings instead of going to church. Only, my dad said that would be setting a bad example.

But speaking of setting an example, my folks were no slouches. They took me to services every time the doors were open.

If you'd asked me if I believed in miracles, of course I'd have said I did. That's one of the fundamental doctrines of our church I learned in the Junior Indoctrination Course. And I'd learned all about Peter's miracles in the Book of Acts--how the lame man walked, and how Dorcas was raised from the dead. But I'd never actually seen any miracles myself.

Then one Sunday morning, the pastor announced a week of special services. We were all pretty excited.

The evangelist was going to stay with us and have my room. I felt pretty important. Being a DK had some advantages, I thought.

Brother Paul arrived late Sunday afternoon. His first sermon was that night.

What a disappointment! I expected real fiery preaching with lots of fascinating stories. He was just the opposite--long-winded and dull. I could't follow all that theology. And he preached until nearly midnight. Everyone kept encouraging him with "Amen, Brother." It was all I could do just to stay awake.

And that's the way it went all week.

By Sunday evening, I was really dragging. I missed my Sunday afternoon nap because people popped in and out all afternoon to visit with Brother Paul. I thought maybe I wouldn't be missed if  I stayed home. After all, I'd been to church every night for a week.

But Mom never missed a thing. "Eutychus, where are you?" I heard her call.

Uh-oh, I thought. She only called me Eutychus when she was mad at me or determined to make a point.

She found me slumped down in a lawn chair out back. "Eutychus, it's time to leave for church."

"Aw, Mom, do I have to go? I'm beat!"

"What do you mean, 'Do I have to go'? I should think you'd hate to miss it. After all, tonight is Brother Paul's last service with us, and we'll be having Communion. What kind of an example would it be for you to stay home?"

Well, I knew I was licked. No sense protesting further.

When we got to church, I knew I was in for a long night. We were in a building program, so services were held in the third story of a rented hall. The day had been a scorcher, and the building wasn't air-conditioned.

The room had been closed up all afternoon, so it was as hot and stuffy as a steam bath. Even though we arrived plenty early, so many people were streaming in, there were traffic jams in the aisles. Dad asked me to open all the windows. By the time I'd done that, empty chairs were as scarce as fried chicken after a church picnic.

Well, being an optimist basically, I decided maybe that wasn't so bad after all. I'd just sit on the windowsill--the coolest place in the house.

The song service was long. Everyone got really excited. Then several people gave long testimonies about how the Lord had met their needs the night before. By the time they took an offering, made the announcements, and a lady sang a special song, it was 9 o'clock before Brother Paul got up to preach.

I fought sleep, But about midnight, I must have dozed off. I never knew what hit me.

The next thing I knew, Brother Paul was bending over me. I was lying out on the sidewalk three stories down. Mom and Dad and all the church folks were gathered around me. Mom was crying, and Dad was holding her.

When I opened my eyes, someone shouted, "Hallelujah!" Then Mom was kneeling beside me, crying all over me and kissing me and hugging me.

"What happened?" I asked, embarrassed by all this attention.

"You fell out of the window. You were dead, but God healed you!" Mom started crying again.

I got the rest of the story from Dad.

Out of the corner of her eye, Mom had seen me start to fall. She cried out then jumped up and raced out sobbing, "Oh, God! Help us, please!"

When she found me, she grabbed my wrist but couldn't find a pulse. "He's dead!" she wailed.

Dad felt my neck but he couldn't feel a pulse there either. By that time, the whole congregation had gathered around. Brother Paul got there last, but he pushed his way through the crowd. "Let's pray!"

And I came back to life. What a Communion service we had after that!

Ever since that night, if anyone asked me if I believed in the supernatural, I would tell them about my miracle. Wow! It changed my life. I knew God cared about me personally and had a plan for my life that only I could fulfill. Why else would He have raised me from the dead? I was never the same again.

If you still doubt my story, let me refer you to my doctor, Luke the Physician. He was there too, and my story is well-documented in his bestseller, The Acts of the Apostles (Acts 20:7-12).

* * *

I'm taking a vacation from blogging for a few weeks, but I will be back soon. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy this short story I revised from one I wrote some years ago and had published in a now out-of-print magazine. See you soon!