After sea duty aboard the U.S.S. Wright (CC-2) (See “Karl C. Priest: Do Not Forget the Cold War and the Reality Of Russia” in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on July 16, 2017), I went to a Navy school at Bainbridge, Maryland. There, I came in contact with a sailor who was totally committed to Christ.
I first saw him while I was standing in the chow line in the mess hall. He had his head bowed as he said a prayer before eating. I joined in the joking from other sailors who made wisecracks about him.
A few days later, I was in the laundry room loading my dirty clothes into a washer and he came in. My trepidation was quickly erased as he turned out to be a regular guy. He invited me to a servicemen’s ministry held in the home of a local Christian family. There, I was blessed by the Word of God.
One night, when I was alone in the barracks, I repented of my sins, received God’s forgiveness through Grace, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It was like the transformation (metamorphosis) of a butterfly. God changed my heart that night and I knew it without a doubt. The boy who would fight in a flash was changed!
The guy shipped out not long after we met and I do not remember his name. However, I know I will see him again in Heaven.
This verse is a perfect example of that sailor’s life: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16a).
He preached a message without being in the pulpit.
I am so very thankful that God let our paths cross in that mess hall.