THE WHITE TORNADO

I was born in 1952 in Des Moines, Iowa. I was saved one night, at the age of five, following a televised Billy Graham crusade. Mom was gone for the night. She was camping out with several of the teenage girls from the small church we attended. I was home alone with dad. Though he worked a full time secular job, he preached most weekends in small farming community churches in central Iowa.

Since I was afraid that night to sleep alone upstairs in my own room, dad allowed me to bunk with him. "Dad," I said after the lights were out, "what did that preacher on the TV mean tonight about Jesus on the cross?" I had, of course, heard Bible stories in Sunday school and had some idea of what it meant when Jesus died on the cross. What had gotten my attention that night, however, was what Mr. Graham said might have happened when Jesus hung on the cross. He suggested that circling buzzards might have landed on the arms of the cross and picked the torn flesh from our Lord's bruised and lacerated body.

My father explained to me in simple terms what the preacher had been saying. He then wanted to know if I would like to ask Jesus into my heart. I felt strange. Somehow I wanted to know Jesus, this one who died on the cross for me, even more. "Yes," I said in a little voice, "I want to ask Jesus into my heart."

Climbing from bed, we knelt and prayed; Dad helping me form the words. I'm sure some doubt the Scriptural comprehension and spiritual sincerity of a five year old. I understood, however, and was saved instantly and knew it.

Since I had never heard glowing testimonials of what it was like to be saved, I couldn't have made up what happened while I prayed. Back during the late 1950's there were White Tornado TV commercials. It was some kind of a household cleaner as I recall. When I prayed and confessed I was a sinner and wanted Jesus as the Lord of my life, I felt, almost heard, a strong wind blow through me. Later, when Mom came home and I told her what had happened, I explained I felt like a white tornado had blown through my body and I felt clean inside and out. I still remember that feeling today as though it just occurred. I am a living testimony that children can indeed be cleansed by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ as they confess Him as Lord and believe in their hearts he died on the cross and rose the third day from the grave.

Phil Scovell