By Judy Brandon: Local columnist
It seems that it has been raining so much lately. One minute the clouds are rolling in and the next minute, a torrent of rainfall. Lately, it hasn’t been uncommon for Clovis to get an inch of rain in just a short period of time.
Anyone who has lived in eastern New Mexico and West Texas for any time knows that storms can appear in minutes from nowhere.
Such was the likely story from many years ago. It didn’t happen because of rain, but it happened one January night when a snowstorm of blizzard proportion moved through the the High Plains. Cars were stranded all along the highway. Visibility was zero and travelers realized they needed some sheltered place away from the storm.
In this particular area of the Texas Panhandle, where this incident took place, the owner of a grain elevator just happened to be in the office of his business the night a blizzard hit the high plains.
After seeing the storm and assessing the situation, the owner of the elevator knew that many people could possibly be stranded in the terrible storm.
So the man decided to initiate a one-man search and rescue. He got his tractor that was parked out behind the elevators in a barn, and started traveling up and down the highway searching stranded cars. He rescued several travelers along the way and took each to the safety of his elevator.
After two hours, he had picked up everyone within one mile east and west of his elevator.
The kind elevator owner opened his doors to all the travelers who were from different parts of the area. They were all ages ranging from a 4-month-old baby to an 80-year-old man. Travelers enjoyed the hot coffee and warm atmosphere of the elevator office when the storm was raging outside. The stranded crew rallied around him and looked to him for safety.
A similar story of safety was in the Old Testament. Saul was pursuing David with the idea of killing him. For safety, David hid in a cave in the desert. Along with David were about 400 men who followed David.
The Bible describes them: “All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader.” (1 Samuel 22:2) They were out there in the wilderness with David for a variety of reasons. Whatever those reasons were, the Bible sums it up by saying some were just “discontent.” They all had difficulties and each one was in his own personal quandary.
So they came together around David and he became their leader. Maybe each one thought it would be good just to connect with one who could give them a purpose. For whatever reason, the band of followers assembled with David into an army. With David’s protection and authority, he became their leader.
In both cases, a grain elevator owner and David were good characters who provided protection and safety for a while. Yet, both were only human. These two pale in contrast to Jesus’ compassion and power. People in misery, people who are sick, people who are in poverty, people who are discouraged because of disappointments of life — they all kind find refuge in Jesus Christ. That refuge is not just for a stormy night or for a while in a cave.
It’s for eternity.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: