Want to Hear a Great Story?

This week at Intersections we worked on the power of stories. Stories are so important in communication because everyone is drawn to a story like a moth to a flame. Here's one of my all-time favorite stories ... from my own childhood:

When I was a boy of about 10 years old I survived a horrific accident in the barn on the farm I grew up on.

For a family of six boys growing up on a farm, an indoor basketball venue was priceless. Half of our old barn was a covered concrete floor with a backboard and a hoop hanging down from the ceiling. Perfect for two on two or three on three. Perfect, except for the occasional uneven cracks in the rough concrete floor that could swipe the ball faster than the guy guarding you!

One night my older brothers had a couple of friends over for a three on three that I was too little to participate in. I got to watch from the safety of a corner near the light switch (you can guess what your little brother would like doing with that light switch during a night game). The only serious game-stopper in our venue was a square doorway located about 12 feet above the playing surface not too far from the rim. Now and then the ball would take a bounce, fly through the doorway and land in the hay loft. "Timmy - how about you run around and get that for us!"

I loved it. I would scramble over to another doorway, up a ladder and retrieve the basketball. Instead of bringing the ball down, it was a thrill to toss it back out through the square doorway (about 3 foot by 3 foot) toward the rim. You could easily bank it in or go for "nothin but net". I shoved the ball through the opening, yelling "Here it comes" and for some reason THAT night I simultaneously tripped on a board in the hay loft and came flying out of the doorway head-first right after the basketball.

This is the part of the story NONE of my 5 brothers ever breathed a word of to my parents till I was in college.

One of my big brother's friends - Earl Osborn by name - turned his head toward the black doorway as the basketball plunged out with me chasing it headfirst! Earl was a fantastic athlete! He turned around in time to snatch me out of mid-air stopping my fall with my head about a foot away from the rough concrete floor! He turned me right side up, sat me on my feet and said something that made all my brothers laugh really, really hard (gotta love a body builder with a colorful vocabulary). There's a picture of salvation! A lightning fast strong-man. In just the right place. At just the right time. If I were even alive at all - my life would be radically different today if it weren't for Earl Osborn. I get the feeling all the time that God's done that kind of thing for me more than once and I haven't even noticed it.

In the posts that follow, I'll be introducing you to a number of people from the Intersections class. I've asked them to tell their stories of encountering God. The assignment was to keep it very short (100 words if possible). I'll pass some of them on to you as I get them back. If you've got a great story, send it to me!