John - A Personal Story by kareenking

John - A Personal Story

John - By Kareen King

It’s January 19, 2019 – the perfect opportunity to dig up something from my world at the age of nineteen back in 1980. Jeff and I lived in the upper level of a duplex in Ellsworth, KS. It was a furnished apartment with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, and a small living room. Internet was not yet invented. We had a landline with two telephones – one in the kitchen and one in our bedroom. As a teenage bride with undeveloped tastes in home décor, I adorned our place with stuffed animals, hand-made puppets, and little creatures made from yarn with antennas above their crossed eyes made from felt. Working with a monthly grocery budget of $60.00, I made all our meals from scratch. We had no television or microwave. We didn’t own a vehicle, but borrowed Jeff’s parents’ pick-up truck. It had a bench seat and I always sat right next to Jeff. By the time we returned it to his dad, the left half of the seat was indented.

Jeff worked as the full-time youth director for the Methodist Church earning $500.00 per month, and I worked as part-time church secretary earning $90.00 a month. My job included recording the monthly tithes and offerings from church members. I was surprised to see that the wealthiest members gave the least.

At nineteen years young, I hadn’t had time to recover from childhood fears that stemmed from countless ghost stories told at sleepovers and Girl Scout camp. I often imagined a pair of bloody fingers emerging from underneath our bed, and I would curl up in a fetal position with the covers securely over my feet.

One morning my fears were triggered when around 4:00, the phone rang. Jeff answered it. Silence. He asked the caller to identify himself. Again, silence. This would happen night after night until Jeff decided to fill the silence with scripture verses. “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And so on and so forth.

Eventually the silence broke when the caller identified himself as John. We soon learned he was a 14-year-old who had been expelled from school for possessing marijuana, so his parents kicked him out of the house. John needed a temporary place to live, and we offered to take him in.

Soon the individual who had spent countless nights spooking us was sleeping in the bedroom next to ours and attending our youth group. He eventually moved to a home for boys.

A year later we received a phone call from John. “Do you guys still believe in God?” he asked.

“Yes, we do.”

John gifted us with a wooden plaque with the word “Jesus” assembled in tiny ceramic pieces. It sits in our kitchen 39 years later.
What a beautiful story!! One you will never forget!! Bless you. Great picture
January 21st, 2019  
That sure is a beautiful story
January 21st, 2019  
What a story! And what a great keepsake from that time. Thanks for sharing it.
January 21st, 2019  
Oh my goodness! Thank you for sharing this story. It's wonderful, and your husband's response to the silent phone calls is beautiful. Reaching out with love rather than fear and anger ... we need more of that in this world.
January 21st, 2019  
@aecasey Thank you for your kind words, April. Yes, we certainly need more love and less fear in the world! Hugs to you!
January 21st, 2019  
@mcsiegle @kjarn @kjarn @777margo Thank you so much! :)
January 21st, 2019  
Such a wonderful story to share, thank you, that time is precious & I so like your photo.
January 22nd, 2019  
Oh Kareen this is such a beautiful story and one we need to read in these times. Thank you
January 22nd, 2019  
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