Monday, February 24, 2014

The Power of a Praying Man—a tribute to “Cowboy Gene” Gene J. Wallace

    Today I’m gratefully remembering a man from my home church—Cowboy Gene, who has gone on to heaven.  While Parkinson’s weakened him, I still remember him as tall, strong man usually wearing a cowboy hat, Wranglers and boots.  Cowboy Gene would often encourage me and tell me that he was praying for me.  Before I married, he also pulled aside my now-husband and admonished him to treat me right.  

    One Sunday in March ‘97, Cowboy Gene told my mom that God had put my sisters and me heavily on his heart to pray and intercede for us that week.  My mom realized why and fully appreciated it more after hearing back from us after that weekend.

    I had been on a Concert Choir tour for Spring Break from my college, Trevecca, in Nashville.  It was the Alabama/Mississippi tour.  We were riding our tour bus toward a Sunday night concert before the era of cell phones and didn’t realize the danger of tornado around us.  At one point we stopped for a break, then continued to our destination.  When we got there we learned that we had missed a tornado likely “by five minutes.”  In the light of the next day, we saw the devastation for ourselves. 

    That same Sunday night, my middle sister was on an NNU weekend Concert Band Tour.  While students slept as their bus was returning from Portland to Nampa, it hit ice and the bus spun around going the wrong way on the interstate.  It had to drive the wrong way for several miles until it was able to turn around again.

    My youngest sister, still in high school, had been attending a National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. that weekend.  She called home from Salt Lake City that night saying that the last leg of her flight had been delayed—a small plane had crashed right before hers landed and there had been a fatality.

    So, as the reports of the weekend came back to my parents, my mom remembered what Cowboy Gene had said—that he had been praying for us especially hard that week.  I’m thankful for Cowboy Gene’s prayerful life and for his positive influence on my life!