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  • Writer's pictureGayle


My son is employed at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. His workdays at that time began at 6 am. We live 10 hours apart and so we enjoy phone calling. Knowing that I am an early riser, many mornings he would call on his way to work. I have each of my children set up with their own special phone rings; Mark’s special ring is the sound of an old car horn.

On May 21, 2021 about 5:40 am, I wasn’t yet awake when I heard an old car horn sound. Still not completely awake, I tried but missed his call. Knowing that by this time he most likely would be going through security at the gate, I texted him, apologized for missing his call, wished him a good day, and settled back on my pillow. Thinking that I would perhaps linger in bed a little longer, I heard the Holy Spirit say “get up, Betty, and pray.” It was very real and so I got out of bed and was moving toward my prayer room when again I heard the Holy Spirit say "would you fall on your face and pray?” Needless to say, that wasn’t my usual prayer posture, but I answered, “yes, Lord, I will.” I got myself to the floor, face down, hands stretched overhead and then wondered what it was He wanted me to pray. Not knowing exactly what I was to pray. I prayed in my spirit with “words and groanings” for a while and started to get up. Then my instruction was “not yet”. Obediently, I went back down on my face and continued to pray until I finally felt a sense of release. I moved from the floor to my morning prayer room about 7 o’clock.

I didn’t think much more about it and went onto my regular morning devotions. About 8 o'clock I received a text from my son which said “Will call you ASAP. We are in lockdown, I am safe.” Somewhat concerned by that text and wondering what was happening, I used “today's search technology” and was able to learn that there had been a terrorist attack at the entrance gate of the base. The shooting had begun around 6:15 am.

At 6:15 am a shooter had tried to speed through the security at the base entrance. When the guards enacted the barrier in time to stop his car, the man got out of his car, began firing and wounding one security officer. In an exchange of gunfire, second security personnel fired and killed the shooter.

This was immediately aired on local and national news outlets. My daughter-in-law and I were in contact with each other, as we watched TV coverage and waited. It took five hours to secure the scene because a bomb squad and robots were brought in. An official said the shooter had “lots of ammo.”

When my son was finally able to, he made quick phone calls letting us both know that he was safe. Later as he was driving home at the end of his day, he called and related all that had transpired. When I told him that his phone that morning woke me, and that I had felt strongly impressed to pray. There was a long pause and my son quietly said “Yeah, I read your text about missing my call, but Mom, I didn't call you this morning."

Then we both knew…. Mark hadn’t called, but God had!

Betty Thompson

Plainview, Texas

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