On April 21, 1950, Rev. Wade Darby and his wife Mary returned from church visitation and retired for the evening. Near their bed, little Danny slept in his crib. At 2 A.M., Mary awoke to a nightmare. Someone was atop her, choking her. Her hand flew to Wade’s pillow, but she felt a wet mass where his head should have been. As she struggled with her attacker, the bed heaved, slats falling out. Danny awakened and began crying.
Mary wrested free and flew into the closet, but the angry voice said, “If you don’t come out, I’ll kill you and this baby.” As Mary prayed desperately, words sprang from her lips with no forethought: “Wade, get the gun from under the bed!” The couple had no gun, but the words did the trick, and the intruder fled.
Wade was rushed to the hospital with three skull fractures and a brain concussion, and both of them had knife wounds. But it soon became clear that physical healing would come easier than emotional healing. For weeks Mary lived with constant fear. Though the church relocated them in a new parsonage, the anxiety continued.
Such vicious, visceral fear yields to only one thing—the authoritative Word of God. The Lord gave Mary 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” She quoted those words in the darkness of the night. They came to mind when panic arose. They calmed her in moments of alarm. And they gradually dissolved the dread, allowing peace to return to her soul.
When Wade returned to the pulpit following his recovery, the church was packed. Hearts were touched, lives were changed; and the Lord used the adversity to enlarge their church numerically and to glorify Himself.
Wade still carries the scars from that night, but those scars remind us of God’s power and love. We have now been married for half a century, and we don’t know to this day who the intruder was. But one thing I do know: God IS dependable.
Robert J. Morgan