Ed’s Incredible Journey

My friend Ed Wallan has more one-liners than Bob Hope. Suddenly, he’ll say with a straight face, “I want my kids to have all the things I didn’t have, then I wanna move in with them.”

Ed knows about moving. He lived in 24 different homes. “My earliest memories are filled with fighting, yelling and crying—all that accompanies alcohol abuse,” he told me. “In grade one I began skipping school to visit the zoo—I majored in zoology,” he laughs. Before long, Ed was on a first-name basis with the cops, so his mother sent him to live with his dad. One awful night his dad and a buddy ran into an oncoming train, and Ed was off again.

While waiting for a posting with the Coast Guard, Ed visited his grandma. There he watched Billy Graham on TV. No way will Christianity cramp my lifestyle, he thought.

In the Coast Guard, the only Christian he knew had his bunk right next to Ed’s.

Following military service, he went to see an old part buddy. He had a Bible beneath his arm. Ed battled anger, and when his fiancée returned her ring, Ed threw it as far as he could, quit his job, sold his car and took off for Portland, Oregon, to live with an aunt and uncle.

In a café, an old gentleman turned to Ed, “Son,” he asked, “do you know the Lord?” “Wow!” thought Ed, “They’re everywhere. I’m surrounded.”

He arrived at his aunt and uncle’s house early Sunday morning. In his aunt’s hand was a Bible. “Let’s go to church,” she said.

“Am I the only one going to hell?” Ed wondered.

A few nights later his aunt dragged him to a meeting where he heard the same invitation Billy Graham had given. Then he felt a tap on the shoulder and a whisper: “You’d better come to Jesus, Son.”

“Why am I hanging onto this old life when God offers me His love, forgiveness, and joy?” Ed thought. That night he invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior.

Today Ed’s wife Diana goes in for another CT scan. “We are hoping for the best possible report,” he told me. “But whatever the outcome, God is in control.” I asked him about joy. He said, “It’s possible because I realize I have been redeemed by God for the purpose for which He made me. Besides,” he smiles, “I know my next move won’t be to another foster home but an eternal home, where joy will never end.”

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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