Troy wasn’t a big man but feared almost nothing. As near as anyone knows, he was what society used to call a half-breed, half Caucasian, half Native American. No one ever knew for sure how old Troy was, he wasn’t born in a hospital, so he never received a birth certificate to say for sure when he was born.
Troy’s family were dirt poor sharecroppers. It was the only life he ever knew, so he naturally gravitated toward the family business, where being a sharecropper in the south in those days always left the farmers in need of more.
Troy and his family were no different, his children were something right out of a movie. They lacked the basic provisions, like shoes for school. It was abject poverty that helped entice Troy into his questionable side job; bootlegging whiskey.
The need for provision became worth risking time in prison, or worse, losing his life…
Troy packed a 22 caliber Ruger with him on his midnight runs, although to my knowledge never had to use it. He did manage to get shot at while avoiding being caught by the authorities in the backwoods of Arkansas.
While Troy didn’t have too much in the way of fear, he did have a true love in his wife. Troy adored Leetha. She exercised her will in the life of her husband and the father of her nine children.
After enough close calls, the Mrs. insisted Troy move their family west, not only to save her husband’s life, but also to bask in the warm sun and enjoy the land of milk and honey and all it had to offer.
While California is beautiful, Troy would never quite figure out that money is all about how one perceives it. He would struggle all of his working days to make ends meet, probably much more than most.
Troy did the only thing he ever knew how to do; pick cotton. God would use that simple life for many specific purposes.
If not for running moonshine and getting shot at, Troy’s wife would never have insisted he move the family to southern California.
Troy’s children would never have met and married the people God had selected for them.
Of course, God using some questionable characters in the life of people to bring about His will isn’t anything new. If the bloodline that God Himself chose to bring His perfect Son into this world to be the last perfect sacrifice for all of our remission of sins, it shouldn’t be a surprise when it happens to common people.
In that Divine bloodline there were liars, cowards, and even prostitutes. Only God can use the imperfections and weaknesses of humans to bring about His perfect will. Even in our willful disobedience God’s sovereignty over His creation is manifested.
It’s hard for some men who’ve led a hard life to find any gentleness inside to share with family and loved ones. My grandpa Troy was like that. He treated grandchildren like he did his own children. He thought it was the way to ensure strength and independence.
One of the perks of being born into the heritage of poor sharecroppers was the nights on a front porch, listening to our grandpa play the Jew’s harp and harmonica, right up until they sent us, the young ones to bed.
Troy wasn’t perfect, but who is? It’s part of my heritage that God used to lead my family to Him.
I’d really enjoy hearing a bit about your story… We’re not so different, you and me.
It seems sometimes it doesn’t matter how imperfect we are…
God’s will is perfect for us…