Posted by Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
It was just a few short weeks ago that Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Coast as a category 4 hurricane. It was the strongest such storm to hit this part of Texas in at least 56 years. Many watersheds in our area experienced 500 and 1000 year flood events as Harvey came and just would not leave. My own family and ministry lost almost everything we had.
After the storm we were making one last check through what little was left before leaving our little apartment for the last time. God led my wife to reach her hand into a pile of trash for just one more check. While she was doing this she pulled out a blue velvet box in a white cardboard wrapper. The first part of this miracle was that I had not seen this box since our wedding day almost 13 years before ! The second part of the miracle was that even through the horrific storm, the recovery efforts, etc. it had remained in perfect condition !
On the side of the cardboard wrapper was written my name, and the letters ChCKOR-DSR. Inside the box was a gold cross shaped medal suspended from a ribbon. More formally it is known as The Cross of Honor of the Most Honorable Order of the Christian Knights of the Rose. The letters ChCKOR stand for Chaplain Knight Commander of the Rose, my rank within the order. The letters DSR carry great significance in the military community. I was awarded the DSR designation by the Knights of the Rose because I served as a military policeman while a member of the Texas State Guard.
I placed the medal where it would be kept safe not immediately realizing myself the significance of what had taken place. Given the circumstances it was very unlikely that my wife would find something so personally and historically valuable randomly searching a pile of what had been deemed trash. It is further unlikely that this decoration would have been found untouched after being hidden away all these years. I am convinced that God’s hand were in these events.
The time since has left me only further convinced that I was being mobilized by the Commander in Chief of Creation. I am convinced that it is no accident that the item returned to me in the opening sentences of the toughest chapter my family has ever faced was a cross ! It is not lost on me either that it was not just “any” cross, but a knight’s cross, my knight’s cross ! It is as if God was summoning me to the battle that was just beginning. It was and is as if God himself wanted to reassure me of His confidence in my ability to wage the battle. I was handed a symbol of authority. First of all of His authority. However also the authority of one who was not only a spiritual leader, but a commander of soldiers, His soldiers ! Since that day God’s people have been comforting to us, and generous toward us.
Our family and community are still battling against Hurricane Harvey. I’m not even sure the end is in sight. However my wife and I have already talked about it. This cross will have a prominent place in our new home when we get there. It will always remind us of His message to me and his presence with us during some of the most trying times we will ever see. There is still much that is uncertain about our future. Of only one thing am I certain. I have been given my marching orders by an authority that neither Harvey nor any other storm can quiet.