Picture this. You’ve been thrown out of a local club and are now scared enough to feel the need to sleep with your loaded pistol under your pillow. In the middle of the night you accidentally trip the trigger and the pistol fires, exploding a cloud of pillow feathers that reaches the ceiling. You are not hurt, but grow weak from the realization of what might have been.
Or this. You’re building a small fire to try to get warm before starting a construction job. In a hurry, you reach for a can of gasoline and soak the wood. The fire starts o.k. at first, then suddenly a whoosh of flame jumps to the gas can and there is a loud explosion. You pray, “Lord, help me!” Miraculously, the fire goes out and, though stunned, you realize you are unhurt.
It took these two incidents and a few others for Peewee to begin to come to grips with the idea that God must have spared him for a reason, and that there must a bigger plan for his life. Peewee, who comes from Charlotte, says he had been “doing a lot of bad stuff” and his path had included drugs, alcohol, and jails. In a period of six years, he fathered seven children, each with a different mother, and two were born only a month apart. “But I’m not Abraham!” Peewee laughed.
He felt strongly the need to change directions, so he asked God for forgiveness and said “Lord, please take over my life.” He spent 28 days in a treatment program at ADATC in Black Mountain, then the next eleven months at First Step Farm in Candler. He hurt his back and became unable to work, but was turned down when he applied for disability. He became homeless and started “following the churches in Asheville that serve meals.” He also began attending their worship services. He was invited to participate in a weekend retreat sponsored by the Church of the Advocate (the church with the red door), which was a wonderful, life-changing experience for him. He later became involved with then helped lead a Bible study group there.
Peewee says it “blows my mind” how much he has learned and how much God has done for him. He still struggles with his addiction problem, saying he faces it every day. He feels he is doing better, and tries to watch what he does and where he goes in order to avoid temptation. His relationships with family have improved, and he sees his children and six grandchildren three or four times a year, “whenever I get up enough money to go to Charlotte.”
During our worship times at HSC, Peewee helps with taking the offering. His prayer always includes the words, “Lord, bless the ones who gave, and bless the ones that had the desire to give but just didn’t have it today.” He says he remembers too well the many times he hurriedly passed the offering plate to the next person, feeling embarrassed that, though he wanted to very much, he had nothing to give.
Peewee is excited that he will be helping with a new Bible study group at HSC. It begins next Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., and he is hoping for a good turnout. Please join him there if you can!