~ Especially for Young People
Escape From Death
(Note: Herewith is presented a letter from a Lieutenant in the United States Army in some far-off battle front to his sister in Pennsylvania.)
A Letter From a Soldier
The Wilds of Nowhere
The Land of Death
Received September 3, 1942
In writing this letter to you, I do not know where to start first. So many things have happened since last I wrote. Well, to begin with, I have escaped death at the hand of an enemy in a way so amazing I am still in a daze. You remember I told you when I knew I was going over, I was armed with the Bible? That Bible is the reason I am still here and able to write this letter to all America.
Here is my story: My buddy and I were sent out on duty with our equipment in the work I told you before was our job. We had just received information–the most important for weeks–when we were discovered by the enemy. I gave my buddy the information we had collected, told him to go with it, and prepared myself to face them. It was the first time I'd been faced with the necessity of pointing my gun at a man and blasting the life from his miserable body. I thought fast, then I said, "Lord, it's Your responsibility now." My buddy had not obeyed my order. He had no such scruples. As I reached for my carbine, a shot from the enemy struck me in the breast and blasted me down.
Thinking I was dead, my pal jumped for me, grabbed my carbine as well as his own, and stood astride my body, blasting away with both guns. He was blasted too, his knees had three bullet wounds, but when he finished, there was not one of the enemy left. He was amazed when I rolled over and tried to get up. The force of that bullet had only stunned me. Dazedly, I wondered why. I pulled that little Bible out of my pocket and in utter muteness looked at the ugly hole in the cover. It had ripped through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, on through the Pentateuch, on through the other books, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and kept going. Where do you think it stopped? In the middle of Psalm, Chapter 91, pointing like a finger at this verse: "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at the right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked."
Sis, when I read that verse, it raised me three feet off the ground. I did not know there was such a verse in the Bible. I'd been reading mostly in the New Testament. I read the rest of that chapter–the first part was ripped apart. In utter humility I said, "Thank You, precious God," and felt like a little boy that had escaped the mouth of an enemy of prey. When I got my buddy back to the post, he said, "Luke, I've had enough. This convinces me. Come on–I want to get right with God, starting right now." He wouldn't let them tend his wounds. He said, "Nothing matters now but this." He stayed on his knees for sixteen hours with three wounds. His body became so numb he could not move it. However, he would not give up. When the Lord finally came in, he moved! That soldier went crazy for God. He jumped over boxes; he jumped over bunks. He even ran outside and shouted to the whole camp.
Since I've given my heart to God, I now talk with the boys, hold meetings, and pray with them. God has given me 25 souls. Twenty-five of my buddies have prayed through and come out for God. God even gave me my general. It took a long time. He was so dignified, but God told me to go after him. I stuck on his trail until he was grounded and came through.
The Spirit of God hovered over that tent with a sort of a glimmering golden haze. I tell you, Sis, prayer is going to win this war–not guns alone–fervent, agonizing prayer. God is bringing them in one by one. The whole company will be a company of praying men. God has promised them to me. He has given me the assurance. Think of it, 120 praying men and one general in one regiment! When that happens, this unit will be unconquerable. Pray, Sis, pray as you have never prayed before.
Tell everyone to pray. Tell all of America to go to its knees.
Before each decisive victory anywhere over here, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, there has been a feeling of people praying far away. The feeling is so strong, you can almost hear it. One of the men, the most stubborn of them, said in the stillness of the night, "God, did You hear anything? Sounded like people praying from some distant place. I must be hearing things in this dead place."
So pray, everyone. It will have to come from afar. No one prays in this land of utter desolation. God has turned His face away from the horror and destruction man has brought on himself.
Again, I plead, tell America to pray! This war will not end until nations and people have paid in blood and tears for thrusting God out of their hearts, out of their nations, out of their land. And tell them for God's sake to send Bibles. A Bible will give a soldier the confidence that God is with him. I'd like to have this letter broadcast from every radio station in America. Try to get it on the air, in the papers, in anything that is printed. Make copies of it. Send it from coast to coast. Tell them that the Army wants prayers and Bibles.
And you complacent, bridge-trotting, cocktail-drinking mothers, why didn't you teach your sons about God instead of handing him a cigarette, a cocktail glass, and a dance program? Get on your knees and ask God to forgive your sins. Then pray for the Army–pray, pray, pray! And you great dignified preachers, why didn't you teach your people to pray? To follow God instead of standing before them in your silken robes and reading them a ritual?
Only atonement for sin can stop the shelling, the killing, the murdering. Even the shells that come whizzing through the air seem to scream only one word–atonement!
I could go on, but I am so tired, so weary. Yet, in all I am so happy to see them coming to God one by one. So tell them to pray, forsake sin, and keep praying. Also, when you send things to your boys, send Bibles. They want Bibles.
Your loving brother,
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