Falling into the tree!

We were drinking again after the country band I managed had finished a Saturday night gig. It took time to wind down after the dancehall show. All the adrenaline needed somewhere to go before rest came. Usually that meant heavy drinking. Four of us were together, the band leader and myself along with our girls. We had gotten our booze and headed out of town , up the winding road through the hills to a little roadside park! It was very late at night going to early morning. As the party of laughter and friendship gradually turned to anger with my girl and I for no obvious reason other than I was turning into a mean drunk. The alcohol had taken over my life and personality. It had turned on me, telling me when to drink. The more I drank the more angry I got until my girl and I were shouting at each other. Our friends tried to calm me down to no avail. Unreasonable anger took hold. As we were in the other folks car, I could not just drive away and leave her stranded 15 miles from town out in the wild hills, so I took off walking back to town. I didn’t need her anyway!

Its amazing how fast a drunk can cover distance while in a stupor. Heading down hill on the highway I was doing fine. I’d show them! What I was showing them besides my rear end of a south bound mule, I don’t know.

Anytime headlights behind me shown I just knew it was them come looking for me so I’d get off the road to hide in whatever I could till the lights passed. Still fuming as a set of lights shown behind me just as I was crossing a metal guardrail area. The only place to hide was the other side of that rail, so without thinking of any danger, smart me, grabbed the rail by both hands and swung my body over it. Thinking to hide behind the rail, imagine my surprise as I hit the peak of the swing over, looking down into a black pit! The flash of realization as I was still in the air completing the swing was a feeling of distance in the blackness. Then I was falling into that blackness. After the fall of what turned out to have been more than fifteen to twenty feet, my body hit earth on a steep decline. Over and over, faster and faster I rolled, hitting cactus’s that I rolled through or bounced over as my vision spun , unable to focus on anything with the speed of my rolling. Then sensing something overhead that I was spinning past, my reaction was to grab at it in hope of stopping this free fall nightmare. My hand caught something for just a moment, I realized from the pain it had been a barbed wire fence.

A sudden stop as my body hit something solid, a mesquite tree in a pasture had abruptly put an end to my excitement. Laying still, feeling all the cactus needles imbedded in my body, the hand that had reached out in the dark to the barbed wire fence began to throb and bleed.

I lay there thinking, my ribs were broken from the tree that stopped me, I’m bleeding and have cactus all over my body, if I just lay here can I die now? That would be the merciful thing , maybe just drift away. End this life of drunkenness now!

I don’t know how long I lay there or even if I passed out awhile, slowly the reality that I wasn’t dead came through. That first effort to move was painful. However I had to climb back out of there. Find away to get back to the road and start to town for help! Not knowing how badly I was hurt as each breath or movement hurt somewhere. I took off my shirt to wrap it around my bleeding hand and started putting one foot in front of the other to cover those miles to town. At this hour of night, traffic was nonexistent plus I didn’t think anyone was likely to stop for a shirtless, dirty and drunk man walking down the road anyway. One foot in front of the other. I don’t know how or who got me to the hospital but I remember them pulling the cactus’s spines out of my hide!! The cactus spine is similar to a fishhook with a sharp barbed hook on the end. You are gonna leave a lot of hooks under the skin to fester before they will come out. The hand was laid open in my palm from the little finger to the thumb area. It being scrubbed with red hot antiseptic on a q tip was no fun either. I can’t remember how many times I swore off drinking that night. Of course I forgot by drinking time that day, a few just to relieve the pain you understand.

That was my life before Jesus showed me I could get an even better buzz from living for Him! I could find true love from him and learn how to share that love with others! If you don’t know about the love for yourself that comes from Jesus loving you , contact me . I’ll tell you all about it! In the meantime just know you are loved!! God Bless,

Pastor David

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