I'm hoping my father-in-law, Pastor Paul sees this. He was a soldier before he became a minister. Had the two coincided, he'd have been a heckuva Chaplain.
Sitting on the ramp of a military vehicle on the lawn of Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace, Lance Cpl. Jeff Guthrie’s eyes welled with tears that streamed down his muddy face.
He had just stormed the gates of the palace in a gruesome fight with his fellow Marines and claimed victory.
Lt. Carey Cash, a chaplain with his battalion, saw Guthrie’s distraught face and walked up to him.
Cash, in a new book, “A Table in the Presence” released April 7, takes his readers onto the hot, dusty, Iraq battlefield to learn how God worked miracles and answered prayers in individual lives of Marines like Guthrie.
“Sitting down on the grass in front of him, I asked what was wrong,” Cash writes in the book, recalling a few life-changing moments spent with Guthrie.
“‘Sir ... I’m, I’m just so sorry,’ he said, tears welling up in his tired eyes.
“‘Sorry for what, Guthrie?’ I had no idea what he was talking about.
“‘It’s just what I’ve done in my life. All I can think about is that I’ve just been through the worst experience of my life, and yet, God protected me through it all. But why did He do it? How could He do it after all the things—the bad things—I’ve done? I don’t know what else to say, what else to feel. I’m just so sorry.’
Surrounded by 20 Marines, Cash, 33, led the young soldier to Christ.
The next day, April 13, 2003, Cash baptized Guthrie in the palace.
Cash wrote, “... I baptized Jeff Guthrie, a new creation, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As the waters of baptism poured over his head and onto the marble floors of the palace, the symbolism wasn’t lost on anyone... A place that had been known for the presence of darkness and treachery had become a place of the presence of God—a table in the presence.”
Before his tour was over, Cash had the privilege of baptizing 59 men in his battalion.
“I watched God use that environment to behold His Son,” Cash told Baptist Press. “It was awesome.”