Once upon at time, back in the hills of Missouri (pronounced ‘Missour-a’ by my family) a scoundrel had broken my Great Grandma Dovie’s heart. She was a young gal, still at living at home, tucked in the hills and hollows of Ozark County. Not only had he ditched her, the target of his affections happened to live down the road from Dovie’s house on this dead-end trail. Salt was trampled into her wounded heart as she listened to those hoofbeats, thunder by on his way to spend the evening hours with his new beloved. At least it was a warning, so she could turn her head, but she couldn’t help by watch him disappear down the road.
After an extended time of the repeated sightings, Dovie let her imaginations and anger get the best of her. She would not–could not–let this go. An old white sheet would be enough of a costume to accomplish her revenge. Wrapping herself up in it like a ghost, she positioned herself in some bushes out by the road to wait until the slime made his return trip. Surely being frightened beyond belief would be enough to discourage him from visiting her neighborhood competition.
For hours, there she sat with the bushes poking her, bored to tears, and maybe even a little cold from a strong breeze. Finally, revenge didn’t seem near as glamorous as her mind had led her to believe, so she decided to call it a night. Out of frustration she looped the sheet over a tree branch to flap in the breeze and went home to bed.
Hours slipped by when she suddenly was awakened by gunshots! What in the world? Rarely did anyone venture to this area, let alone hunt at night. Hoofbeats echoed and then vanished into the dark. Sleep was a long time in coming for her mother and her as they wondered if they were in danger.
The next morning Dovie ventured out to retrieve the sheet, now ruined by two bullet holes. I’m sure as she put her fingers through the blackened tears, she was speechless. Yes, her plan had worked wonders, but not in the way she had expected. It was wrapped in the humble lesson that God had graciously spared her life. Suddenly ‘revenge’ was forgotten.
Today more years than I know have passed. Had God’s grace not been not on her, the consequences would have been tragic. This woman of faith would not have had the influence on this old world that she did. In fact, she left a great legacy of faith and passed it on to:
1. 1 daughter
2. 2 grandchildren
3. 5 great-grandchildren
4. 16 great-grandchildren
Yes, 26 of us are awful glad she gave up and just went home! Not a one of us would be here.
The morals to this story are: 1) that every life is precious and impacts others more than we know, 2) revenge messes with you more than the other person, to the point of being deadly sometimes, and 3) don’t waste your bullets on a what looks like a ghost! I also suspect this is one of many stories Granny will share with us one day that prompted her to make sure ALL of us received an Old Time Gospel Hour KJV Bible, a Bible dictionary and a giant Strong’s Concordance. Yes, she wanted to make sure we had our full armor against any spiritual boogie men that come our way.
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply and the Lord your God will bless you. Duet. 30:15-16