May 2, 2016 - “…that I may know Him…” (Philippians 3:10)
While I was a pastor in Lumberton, Texas in the seventies, deacon Glen Thornton called saying that eight year old Donna Storm had been badly burned and taken to the John Sealy Burn Center in Galveston. A container of gasoline had exploded near a hot water heater where she was playing.
This little girl rode our church bus regularly to Sunday School and had been converted and baptized during VBS that year. Alice Weeks, her Sunday School teacher, and I went to visit her at the hospital. Her body was burned beyond recognition. Her lips were burned away and pig skin had been grafted around her eyes to help retain body moisture. It was the most heart-rending thing I’d ever seen.
Alice sobbed, “We’ll see you soon, honey.” “We want you to get well soon”. But when I realized she was dying, I said, “Donna, you’ll soon be going to a wonderful place.” “Don’t be afraid….” “There’ll be no strangers there and everyone will be your friend….”
And as I spoke to her, she whispered three words, slowly….quietly …but distinctly… “I…know…Jesus…” Soon after we returned home that day, we got the call that Donna had died.
Forty years have passed since her death and remembering her still brings tears to my eyes…… tears of sadness because of her suffering….and tears of joy…
…Because she knew Jesus.