A light came on during a 1989 Passover service
The writer is a member of the Living Church of God.
By Barry Gannon
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo.--It was April 18, 1989. A small group of us were on our way home from Passover services. The conversation in the car centered on our friends Doug and Carolyn Graham.
Carolyn was pregnant with their first child and had been admitted to a hospital. She was suffering from complications with toxemia. Her kidneys were failing, and her lungs filled up with fluid. She was in critical condition.
Although the baby was tiny, and his lungs had not quite developed completely, the doctors decided to deliver him nine weeks early on this very night.
We had not expected to see Doug at services, but he came, stayed long enough to partake of the bread-and-wine ceremony and then immediately left for the hospital to be there for the delivery.
A light came on
Our conversation seemed dark and foreboding. We expressed fears to each other that either the baby or Carolyn, or both, might not make it through the night.
Suddenly a light flashed on in my head, and I informed everyone that everything would be all right. It must have been the Spirit moving me to say this because of what suddenly dawned on me. This was the Passover. In faith, under great stress and hardship, Doug had just accepted the Lamb of God, the symbolic body and blood of Jesus Christ. This was his and Carolyn's first baby. How could God not spare their baby on this night?
Everyone felt a little comforted by this realization, but we still prayed long and hard for our friends and their new little one.
The next day we rejoiced to hear they both made it through the night. They were not out of danger, but things were looking up.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread we again saw Doug there at the morning service. He informed us mother and child were both doing better, and we rejoiced and praised our Father.
That same morning Doug was ordained a deacon in God's church. He left and went back to the hospital.
It was a slow and gradual recovery for both. Carolyn was in more danger than the baby, but it was several weeks before they could actually bring their baby boy home.
12 years later
That was almost 12 years ago. Doug and Carolyn are now with the Living Church of God and are the hosts of the St. Louis, Mo., church. Their first and only child, Ben, is a good-looking, humorous, all-American kid who likes sports and video games.
I wanted to share this story of a miraculous happy ending in this world of constant bad news. Our God is real. He does work miracles in our lives.
While I was watching Doug during his ordination 12 years ago, I had a picture in my head of the death angel raising his sword to slay that baby, while another angel stopped him in midair and pointed to the Lamb's blood on the bedpost.
It was at that point I wished I were an artist and could paint that powerful picture. Instead, God came through and inspired me to write a poem about the event. Here it is, complete with a little poetic license. I don't know exactly how the battle ensued, but it may have been something like this:
A Graham of Faith On the eve of the 14th of Nisan, A baby was born in distress. His mother was too weak to help him, Unconscious and near unto death.
His father was frantic to save them, And with only the faith of a gram He girded himself for the battle And accepted the blood of the Lamb.
The baby was helpless and frightened As the death angel hovered above, But an angel of light did appear there To bring comfort and courage and love.
"The child is mine!" cried the reaper. "Drop your sword! Step aside, I command!" But the towering angel retorted, "He's under the blood of the Lamb!"
Then the ominous sickle of Hades Was cast at the baby in bed, But with help from the Lord the angels' swift sword Deflected the sickle instead.
Then a blast of white light from that angel Sent the demon sprawling in terror, But he mustered more troops and the angel of light Was outnumbered but not in despair.
Now the prayers of the saints were ascending, As the father made known his plight. More shining-bright figures arrived on the scene, And the battle raged on through the night.
Flaming swords met the onslaught of Satan, Brilliant light against darkness and doom. The baby was shielded by rainbows it seemed As lightning arced through the room.
Such a scene no mortal could witness, Though the battle was over a boy. Then a trumpet was sounded in heaven. "That's Michael!" cried the angels with joy.
And just the mere thought of that cherub Charging to join in the fight Struck fear and dismay in that demonic horde, And the army of Hades took flight.
"Well done!" shouted Michael, arriving. "Now show me this child so small." The baby slept on as the archangel beamed, "Someday, he'll be over us all."
With morning came hope and deliverance; The mother gained strength from on high. The father took rest from his labors, And the angels rejoiced in the sky.
The baby is Benjamin Joseph. He hails from the family of Graham: Their firstborn son on that Passover night Who was saved by the blood of the Lamb.
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God