Many years ago I went camping with a youth group from the Skyline Baptist Church in El Paso, TX. As night grew near, the youth began to dig holes in the sand to sleep. I warned them not to sleep in the holes because the walls might collapses but they dismissed me as a bother.
I put my tent up under a small bush on the solid ground between the sand dunes. When I put my head down to sleep in my tent the ground was as solid as a rock. I looked up and said a prayer, “Lord, watch over me and keep me safe.”
The next morning I awoke and it was a beautiful day. The sky was bluer than ever before. The air was fresher than I have ever breathed. The temperature was perfect and I had slept like a baby all night long. It was wonderful. I bowed my head and said, “Thank you, Lord.”
Then I saw one of the youth sitting at the far side of the camp and decided to go and say, “Good Morning”. When I spoke, she turned and looked at me with total despair. Her mascara was running down her cheek with her tears. She was covered with a blanket that was completely soaked with water.
She told me a story about the night – it was HELL. The winds blew violently, the lightening flashed, the thunder roared, the rains fell. The walls of their holes had fallen in on them and one of the boys had been buried alive. She told me that all the youth screamed and called my name throughout the night but the rushing water was so violent that their voices were carried away. They tried to reach me but the water was too deep. The lightning struck all around and there was no place for them to hide.
The youth director (and several of the youth) carried the young man that had been buried alive to the car and drove him to the hospital. Some of the youth stayed behind so they could show the responding rescuers where I had been (they could search for my body). It was a nightmare that they would never forget.
As she told the story of a night from Hell, I turned and looked at my tent; it was still standing the way that I had pitched it the night before. It was dry. There was no damage. The tent was dry. I had never heard a word; a sound.
Then I turned to the youth and said, “On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand….. all other ground is sinking sand”.
No one from that church has ever spoken to me again (that was 1977).