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Thursday, July 30, 2009
I first met Wayne in the mountains while with my friend and hunting buddy (Ed Williams). We were out exploring the area near Pumzika Acres, looking for wild game signs. It appeared to both Ed and I that Wayne had consumed a little too much "mountain dew". He was a quiet and gentle soul for the most part, but was bold enough that as soon as he learned that I was a "Preacher" he let me know that he knew what was right and did not need me nor anyone else telling him what he needed to do to "get right with God." On that first day I did not press the claims of Christ on Wayne. I refused to get involved in any challenge to my beliefs. He would have relished a debate on the subject of eternal security, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, or divine healing, or tithing or any other religious subject. My personal observation was that he really wanted to make this change but because of pride and drink he would not do it. I finally said, "You know Wayne, I perceive that you don't need anyone to tell you what's right and what's wrong. You don't need anyone to tell you that you need to repent. As you have said, you don't need to be told that you are a sinner. You already know those things. All you need to do now is to call out to Jesus and ask him to forgive you and receive him into your heart and make things right." I invited him to go with us to the little Baptist Church on Sunday. Later, at the Church, I told the church about meeting this man and asked them to pray for his soul's salvation. His wife spoke up and said, "That's my husband".
Now - More about this issue of "tithing". The last time I saw Wayne alive he was with Betty and we had stopped in the road between the church and my cabin. Today, Wayne said, "You know what's wrong with these churches today? The preachers won't preach if you don't pay them." Betty chimed in with, "Preacher he don't believe it's right that we have to pay a preacher." "That's right!" says he, "Jesus didn't never get paid!!" "Why" says I, "Of course he did! Jesus had so much money he had to ask one of his followers to carry it... Judas Iscariot. Why... Of course, Jesus had money. He paid taxes didn't he?" Again, knowing that argument will never win a soul to Jesus, I politely took my leave of them and promised myself that I'd discuss that with him at some future date. That date never came because of a tragic accident.
On June 27, 2009 I received a phone call from Betty Gay, the wife of Wayne Gay, saying that Wayne had drowned in a farm pond, trying to rescue his grandson from drowning. Both Wayne and his grandson died. Oh the emptiness in my soul because I did not "press" more for Wayne to make a change. Could I have done or said anything differently that would have caused him to repent of his sin and accept Jesus as His Savior? I honestly don't know. It is my hope that in the last few minutes Wayne Gay called out from the depths of his spirit to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Savior. If he did, then "...Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved". Acts 2:21