I was nailed to a lift of wood when I was 15yrs. Old. I was left hanging behind a pallet factory for hours. This is just one of a few major events that happened in my life. Getting nailed to the lift of wood is only half of this story.
Back in the day, 37yrs ago, I worked full time after school. Having money at 15 years old was great! I was lucky, the Job was beside my house. It was a pallet factory making skids for GM and other manufacturers. I did just about every job in the place, from cutting wood to nailing pallets together.
My routine was to rush from school to work every evening. I’d jump off the bus, eat a couple peanut butter & honey sandwiches; and bolt out the back door. I changed my clothes to something warmer then put on some coveralls.
One night at Lunch time the guys, started smoking dope. This was a regular occurrence, but this night would be drastically different. Their habits included drinking, smoking up and doing pills. One guy would even put pills under his eyelids. They were a rough crowd. And Yes, that guys nickname was “Stoner”
I on the other hand was wet behind my ears; just a 15 yr old kid. This all was an eye opener for me. I had become a christian a few years earlier even though my family wasn’t. I could see a huge contrasts between Christians and the “unwashed” degenerates I worked with. Its amazing how different people can be. I guess it goes without saying; Who I had become and who others where, scared me. I was till trying to figure out my Identity. All I saw was contrast, all the time.
This particular night the Pot smoke was so thick, I couldn’t breath. I had no choice, but to leave the lunch room and sit in the hall. I went out into the hall so I could eat lunch. As a young kid, I minded my own business and I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t have the voice that I have now, or did I have the size.
All of a sudden that night, the guys were out in the hall. They grabbed me. They had decided they would nail me to a lift of wood in the yard. So, about 15 guys grabbed me and forced me out into the wood yard , behind the Factory. There, in the dark hours of the night, I was hoisted up and nailing to a lift of wood. There I hung, nailed through my coveralls, arms spread out and my legs spread eagle.
There out in the cold dark night, I didn’t know what would come next. I had long johns on, but it was really cold. My Coveralls didn’t stop the wind. I was freezing there in the middle of February. Oh Yah, I live in Canada! I must have hung their for at least an hour maybe even two before the foreman found me. I guess he didn’t see me working and wondered, where did the kid go… Who knows, maybe, someone told him. I don’t know. So, He brought a forklift with, a pallet on its forks, and propped up my feet so he could get me down. Another guy pull the nails out with a hammer.
I don’t remember much after that. I remember while hanging up there hearing the fork lift working in the yard, in the distance. I could hear the saw dust collector running. I also remember seeing, the icy gravel drive way and a deep pot holes in the driveway where a fork lift must have got stuck before. I remember my breath in the air. Looking back, Its sort of funny; There I was in the midnight air, freezing, gazing up into the night sky. You know, your senses have tuned right in. You hear things you never heard before. You know, I am surprised my ears didn’t get frost bite. Maybe that was a miracle on its own.
Well, the next day, I minding my own business. I avoided everyone. I didn’t go to the lunch room, I stayed in the hall. ( a detail came back to me. ) Previously, I was going home for lunch, but the the foreman had stopped that. Home was only a skip and a jump away. He said I had to remain at work. He said, I couldn’t leave work half way through even if I only had to jump the fence. So, that is was why I was bringing my lunch to work instead of going home and why I ended up in the lunch room.
The story ain’t over!
The next day, at lunch time, out in the hall, they grabbed me again. They said, Ohhh, look! You have rips in your coveralls. You can’t wear those ripped coveralls here! We’ll fix that! And they started to rip the coveralls off my body. Wow that took a lot of force. They started grabbing and tearing the rips from yesterday. Honestly!, This was more frightening than being hung out in the wood yard. I was being mauled by 15 guys yanking and pulling. They were animals. I was yelling, yelling and Yelling . Where was the foreman. I still remember seeing the colour of the concrete floor. The office has a window into the hall; why couldn’t the Foreman hear me yelling!
Sigh. There are a few other things that happened in that place I will leave for another time. One where I had to get my mom to take me to the hospital. Thats another story. But that day, I was left with a question. I wondered; How was I going to survive? The peer pressure at the factory was far heavier than that in school; and I was tired of it. I didn’t know if I could keep on doing work and going to school and taking abuse.
I had to make a choice. I thought, maybe I should start smoking up with them? Even if I just started sitting in the smoke in the lunch room. Maybe that would be enough. Or should I tough it out? Maybe I should quit. My Christianity seemed to be in my face as well. I had to chose. What Do I do? Should I follow Christianity or should I ignore “right and wrong” and just fit in to save my life.
This is when I had a moment of clarity. I Looked at them! I said to myself; They have nothing to offer me. There is nothing attractive about this! When I contrasted the two possible lives, I looked at them with contempt. I said, No Thanks. I don’t want to be like you guys!
Those moments are some of the most important moments and choices in my life, the biggest a person might make. My choice then could have changed everything for the worse. This reminds me of a scripture. Just a second before I go there. The whole thing did make me defensive. And Yes, it also changed my personality, and not all for the good. Unfortunately, I put up walls that I am still working on taking down.
One good thing; Their behaviour those days, gave me resolve. That is something I am happy to have. While they meant if for harm, God meant it for good. (remember the Joseph story. in the bible. ) And remember the Joshua story and his choices.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. -Joseph.
I could end the Op here. But if you feel like reading on; I have some further thoughts and some wind in my sails to say more.
My Reflection and the spiritual part: ( a double whammy)
Jesus asked people to follow him. Jesus didn’t asking them to just check a box; saying ‘I went to church once.’ all is fine. Jesus asked for more than just a consent that He exists. He asks you to believe and make choices that have consequences. Unfortunately today we live in a self serving culture. People make bad choices. The culture tells you; shut up about your Christianity, we don’t want to hear it. Society offers you a different way. There is a way that seems right to a man, but the way there in is death.
Jesus said, He is the way. Jesus said, He is the Truth. And he said, HE is the life.
Have you tuned God out? or Are you tuning Him in? Do you know Him well enough to interact with Him? Do you have quiet conversations with God during the day? Is Jesus important in your life? Do you ask “What would Jesus do”? WwJD. Does God and Christianity even impact your choices at all? ** Is Christianity so un-obviousness in your life, that people don’t know you are christian? Is your christianity so quiet, even Jesus doesn’t know you? ( are you one of those people who is dating someone but they don’t know you are dating them. ) Does God really know you?
One Big issue I have with people is; that they put their own views on who Jesus is and what he thinks. He is like their barbie Doll and they dress him up as they see fit, rather than respecting Him for who He is. Their Christianity is one of their own making. In their make believe world, Jesus is not Jesus he is their Barbie style Jesus. So their Christianity is not authentic christianity.
Why not let Jesus speak for who Jesus is? Instead of making him into whatever you want, why not learn who Jesus really is. Why not read the bible. The other thing is, People don’t know who Jesus is, because they won’t take another persons instruction. You tell them about Jesus and they push it away, but they don’t look into Jesus themselves. This is likely because they have walls up like I did and they never took them down. They say they already know all they need to know; they don’t need to be told anything. But in truth, they don’t really know! And, they don’t actually read, to find out. Come on, lets face it. We need to seek out who Jesus is and find out what his character is like. to be able to say we know what we are talking about. You cant make up your own Barbie Jesus version and then say you are serving Jesus when really you are serving yourself . Ask yourself do you really know Jesus at all?
Because of all the abuse I experienced at that factory, I am acutely aware of the cross. Jesus died on and what Jesus did for me and why it matters.
You know what I did after those troubles? I jumped head first into the bible to sort things out. Those thugs brought urgency to my life. I had to know Jesus better. I had to make choices and I chose Jesus Christ. I doubled down. Yes, I read my bible. and so should you. Now, after almost 40 years, I am still christian. Looking back, if I had the choice to do it all over again, I would. The choice to Love God, to seek him, and to follow him and read my bible was the best choice I made in my life. And, I would and am making that same choice today.
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
I went to church and I changed my lifestyle to honour God, and I learned to pray I include Jesus Christ in my every day life. Jesus is in my life. He is not a concept or a concept in the making. Jesus is the Living God interacting with me day by day, both King and Friend. I have found that the Holy Spirit is real; He is the actual presence of God in my life. Praying is not about distance, its about attentiveness to God who is right with me. And God gives me direction and Comfort. He is not my butler; He is my companion., He is my God. This is why I see my life as hidden in Christ.
3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Character of the New Man
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Thanks for reading. I am long winded today.
And I cant thank Jesus Christ enough for saving me at a young age. I see how others lost their lives caught up in any number of things. I was saved from many of those things. Jesus Christ is Salvation! Jesus deserves to have many thanks. Thank you Lord. Thanks so much for all of it !
***note to readers:
***By the way, when you see something underlined in Blue, I put a link to a scripture under there. So you can click it and get more info. And, when at the Bible Gateway link, you will find that you can click on the 4 little lines by the scripture passage up top and poof!, it will widen out to the whole chapter. Not only that! If you click the arrows on the sides, it will switch from chapter to chapter. That way you can read the whole story or passage, not just the quote. So any time you want to go deeper Just click a link for some bible study. Bible Gateway is a great tool. I try to add links to most of my Ops. Reading the bible should be a regular exercise for everyone.
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