Let Your Heart Grow in the Family - 1995
Sixty-four years ago I was born, the second of identical twins, in Roswell, New Mexico at my grandparents farmhouse. My sister weighed two and on half pounds. I was the runt at two pounds.
I thank God that He gave my grandmother the knowledge and strength to care for us. For three days and nights my grandmother worked with us constantly. She made us a bed out of an apple crate. Heated bricks to put in the bottom of the apple crate, covered the bricks with feather pillows, put us in our bed and placed the bed in back of the wood stove. She had to see that the stove did not get too hot or too cold in order that we would survive. God had plans for us so we SURVIVED!
When we were two and a half years old God gave us a baby sister that we loved dearly. Four months later He took our baby home with Him. About a year after our sister died, God revealed to my twin sister and I that we would meet our baby sister at the "Golden Gate". My twin and I wondered where we would find this beautiful Golden Gate. Our home was not a Christian home and we did not go to church at this time, so it was a mystery to us.
We moved to Salinas, California when we were six years old. Our neighbors across the street from us were Salvationists. We were introduced to church through them. If it had not been for The Salvation Army we would not have had Christmas in 1938.
December 23, 1939 my sisters and I were to be in the Sunday School play in the evening. Around five p.m. my twin sister's dress caught fire and frightened her. She ran outside across the driveway. The paper boy tripped her and put out the flames with his jacket. The ambulance came and took her to the hospital. She was crying for me, as we had never been separated before. My father had to come home and take me to the hospital to be with her. I sat on a bench at the head of her bed for over twenty-four hours until she finally passed away at 9:10 p.m. December 24, 1939. At her funeral I wanted to be with her. I had no will to live. I became very ill on New Years Eve and was rushed to the hospital. I was within seconds of passing away. The doctor had to tap my spine because fluid was almost to my brain. I spent six weeks in the hospital. I still had no will to live but God had other plans for me so I did not get to meet my baby sister at the "Golden Gate".
After my twin died, I missed her so much and would want to talk about her. Every time I would mention her name mother would start crying. I soon learned to keep my twin sister's love buried in my heart but not mention her name to my mother. My mother started drinking and became an alcoholic. Within three years my parents were divorced. My father took my sisters and brother to the Los Angeles area. We lived on a farm. He farmed the land in the daytime and worked at the shipyard on the graveyard shift. He was both a loving father and mother to us, and always had time for us and our friends. He would not let us speak unkindly of our mother. He would instill in us that no matter what our mother had done, she was still our mother and would always be our mother and that we were to love her because she was our mother.
When we moved to the Los Angeles area God sent us to the right house. Our neighbors were Christians. It wasn't long until they were taking us to the Nazarene Church with them. It was just what we needed. We had been living with Dad about two and a half years when my little sister became ill. My mother took my little sister and brother back to Salinas with her, to take care of my sister while she was ill. That summer I went to Salinas to visit my mother, brother, and sister. I was shocked to see the conditions that they were living in. Mom was living in an apartment behind a bar. She spent all of her time at the bars. My brother and sister were just roaming the streets unsupervised and asking for money from the drunks that went by. I took my little brother and sister under my wing. I got them back in Sunday School and church and stayed in Salinas to see that they were raised right.
About six months after I moved back to Salinas I met Christ at the cross and He became my personal Savior. Oh what joy it brought to me. I no longer wanted to die - I wanted to live for Christ and to see that my family lives for Christ, that they know the joy that only Christ can give.
It has been forty-eight years since I have encountered Christ as my personal Savior. There have been times when I haven't walked as close to Him as I should, and I have failed Him. He continued loving me. I am so thankful that I can confess my sins to Him and He remembers them no more.
I know that God placed me on this earth to be a source of strength and a light to my family's path - to help guide them to Christ. I pray that God will help me win ALL of my family to Christ, so that I will meet them at the "Golden Gate" that God promised me so many long years ago as a child.
Let MY Heart Grow in My Family.
© Copyright 1997 - James Card - Permission is granted for non-commercial use of all original material.
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