Ministry needs took me to Cleveland, Ohio, last week to be with a dear husband and wife from our church who was to go through major surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Praise the Lord, she is doing well. On my Thursday journey home to East Tennessee, I exited the interstate for an overdue visit in my hometown of Marietta, Ohio.
The first stop was to see my cousin at her workplace and enjoy a too-short time of catching up. Since I have no siblings, she has been more like a sister to me over the years, and we always have a great time together. From there I drove a few blocks toward downtown, over the brick streets that are, and found the school where I attended five year old kindergarten as well as the library next door. Would you believe I walked five blocks to school by myself each day? That was a different day for sure. I circled the school twice reliving those early days.
From there I drove around the famous Mound Cemetery and then a half block down Sixth Street. Here is where my reminiscing trip reached its summit. I parked my car in front of 318 Sixth Street and stood for a while remembering some special days at this house. Mrs. Fox lived in the downstairs, and we rented the upstairs. The double front doors of the house opened into a foyer with the stairs directly in front of you as you walked through the doors. I can still hear the racket my red wagon made as I rode down the sidewalk wearing out my shoes as I used them for brakes. The best memory of this house was the day I walked home, I believe from school, through the front doors, up those stairs into one of the front rooms which was our living room, and there I knelt down at the couch and trusted Christ as my Savior at the age of five. I remember it like it was yesterday. That big house is not a sacred dwelling, but as I stood outside looking up at that window with tears streaming down my cheeks, I could confidently say that this was the place I met the Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and forever I belong to Him! How wonderful to have a godly mom and dad who loved the Lord, spoke often of Him, shared the Word with me, and always pointed me to Christ. That day, kneeling at that couch, I took God at His Word, believed on Him (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13), received Him as my Savior (John 1:12), and was born again (Titus 3:5)!
After standing there a bit longer, I journeyed on downtown where Mom and I would walk to shop at the old Five & Dime Woolworth’s store (hardwood flooring and a soda fountain). Then I drove over the Muskingum River to the Anchorage where Dad labored as a carpenter since he was not pastoring a church during those days. This old structure was then being remodeled to be used as a nursing home. I remember walking across the bridge over to the Anchorage to see Dad, still relishing the taste of that good ice cream cone from the Five & Dime!
There were so many other places that I wanted to visit and people to see, but I’ll have to save that for another trip. I did stop in Charlestown, West Virginia, to visit another cousin who is very dear to me. We shared, wept, prayed, and rejoiced together.
The point of this reflective story is to simply say, “Thank You, Lord! I have been blessed! God’s been so very good to me!” Listen: I Have Been Blessed