His little sister was my granddaughter who shared visitation time with her daddy at my house. So I would see Matt occasionally after he became a teenager. We sat in the car talking one time. He had a daughter by that time. He said his memories of our time together were not good; however, he said he was sure that had been “colored” by what he had heard not what he had seen and experienced. He referred to his own daughter, and said she probably would never know how much he loved her. Each time I would see him, I would tell him his hand-print plaque was still on my wall, to remind me to pray because “You will be a man of God some day.”
So now, Matt is now “forever 40.” Did my prediction come true? I believe so, I hope so. Matt was killed in a prison riot. I have been told he was killed because he refused to carry out orders from fellow prison “gang” members. He had responded that his parole was coming up in two months and he did not want to lose that chance for freedom.
In his last letter to me he said he had been doing Bible Studies in prison. I guess there was not much else to do. He referred to the fact that his handprint was still on my wall. And I was still saying, “You will be a man of God some day.”
Nobody’s prayers force the hand of God, but God is moved by our prayers. He gave Matt another opportunity to be a man of God. Matt was stabbed one time in his first encounter with the Stabber. The next day, he was stabbed viciously many times. He was definitely not stabbed because he was a tool of satan! I believe he was killed because he could no longer be used for evil, instead he had “became of Man of God one day.”
I did not write Matt’s story to justify one’s choosing to do evil. Matt will stand before the righteous Judge. His salvation will have been achieved in the same way mine and yours has been. Salvation by the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Since Matt’s mother put the obituary on Face Book making it public, I am including it with this post.
My epitaph to Matt is still “YOU’LL BE A MAN OF GOD SOMEDAY.”
Oh my, a heart wrenching testimony. But for God! My Bible study continues in Ephesians. The first 3 chapters spell out how much God loves us, chose us and provided a way to Him by the blood shed by Jesus, to give us eternal life. The only requirement is to accept HIM by repenting, even with our dying breath. Everything in the Bible has a purpose and the thief on the cross gives many of us hope in the loss of a loved one like Matthew. Maybe you know this, his name means gift from God! My 40 year old nephew, Matthew, is once again a prodigal…🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏.
My prayer will switch to your 40 year old Matt. May he find his way home in time to spend some nice years on earth. Yes! God was good to include the “thief” story giving hope to many. Problem comes when a procrastinator counts on that to rescue him. Speak good to him when you can, and use God as a sounding board when screaming seems necessary. 🙂
Amen! Thank you for your prayers. My husband and I have a GREAT relationship with him. We try to see him at least once a year. He lives in Florida. His dad is currently fighting for his life, stage 4 cancer. A rare one….
Ahh. The battle rages. Keep the praise and prayer weapons at your side.
Wow. That’s hard.
Thanks for the comment. Matt made life much harder than it had to be. On parole several times but just couldn’t seem to stay on top.
That’s tough. I’m glad that you were able to be there for him.
There will certainly be surprises in Heaven with who we meet and who we do not meet! A couple friends in jail will be among those raising eyebrows, and I imagine a lot of people who knew the “real me” in my younger days will also be surprised.
Sort of fun to think about, huh? I doubt, however, that we will remember our sins; they will have been thrown into the sea to be remembered no more. I do believe we will always know that we were redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb and will be eternally grateful. Our new life will have begun!
I am sorry for your loss. Salvation for all of us is by the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Thank you. Yes, our salvation comes to all in the same manner. Repent and be saved.
For each of us… Our sins, they are many; His mercy is more.
And his forgiveness unlimited. Thanks for the comment.