Sermon Illustrations

In the midst of “Desert Storm,” Sept. 27, 1991, Ruth Dillow from Illinois received a heartbreaking message from the military.

Her son, Private First Class Clayton Carpenter, had stepped on a mine in the Persian Gulf and had been killed.

Mrs. Dillow wrote, “I can’t begin to describe my grief and shock. It was almost more than I could bear.

• For three days I wept.

• For three days I expressed anger

• For three days I experienced true loss

• For three days people tried to comfort me, to no avail because the loss was too great.”

But three days after she received that message, the telephone rang.

The voice on the other end was unmistakably that of Clayton.

“Mom, it’s me, I’m alive!”

Ruth Dillow said, “I couldn’t believe it at first. But I recognized his voice and he really was alive.”

She said, “I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son, whom I thought was...

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