A few years ago, Tom got a call late in the evening that began with, “Judge, I need to tell you about something that went down tonight.” Seems a State Trooper was returning to Spencer from an evening with his family and he began following a vehicle that was swerving all over the road. He tried to ignore it, as he was off duty, but it got so bad, he just had to pull them over. Once he pulls the vehicle over, the female passenger inside began to be belligerent and totally uncooperative. She would not get out of the vehicle, even planted her feet on the dash and had to be dragged from the vehicle. Somewhere in this process of trying to get her out, she began screaming that she was going to tell her daddy, Judge Evans, what they were doing, and he was going to shut them down.
Just coincidentally, this trooper knew Tom very well and knew this 50-something-year-old was definitely not his daughter. She continues to fight and scream about what her daddy was going to do to them, and once they dragged her out of the truck, she even went so far as to try to beat on the trooper. Long story short, there was an arrest for she and her husband, but the trooper called Tom just to kind of warn him this had gone down the way it did. This lady was the owner of a restaurant in Ripley, and we had eaten in there perhaps two times, but I know Tom wouldn’t have recognized her if he had seen her out somewhere other than the restaurant. What in the world would have possessed her to have claimed he was her father? Especially when she was in a totally inebriated state?
The next day, her husband shows up at Tom’s office to apologize for her behavior, but he couldn’t talk to him, of course, so in the end, we just never went back to that restaurant and haven’t seen the couple since. I was reminded of this story because some friends asked us to meet them there for dinner this week, and we had to kind of tell them why we couldn’t go there. After the incident occurred, the local newspaper wrote an article about it, and in the article, they said that she threatened the troopers that her daddy, Judge Evans, would be removing them of their badges. The article wasn’t written clearly enough to indicate that she was NOT his daughter, only that she threatened them. I had a couple people call me or stop me and say, “Boy, I bet Tom sure is embarrassed about what his daughter did.” As soon as I read the article, I knew it could be misunderstood, but what could I do about it then? After I get these calls, I called the editor of the paper, who had been a friend, and asked him to write a clarification that in fact the person was not his daughter.
He evidently knew the restaurant owner (who had not been identified in the article as a local business owner, and the name of her restaurant is not the name she goes by, so no one would have connected her to her business. When I ask for the clarification, the editor of the paper tells me he wouldn’t want to embarrass her. I’m thinking, “EMBARRASS HER? What about us?” In any event, he wasn’t willing to do a clarification.
As I have thought about this story this week, it has made me think of one of the most depressing scriptures ever written, the one in Matthew 7:21-23 that says 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Can you imagine arriving at the gates of heaven, insisting that God is your Father, that you know Jesus Christ personally, and the angels do not believe you, and they won’t let you in, and you insist and insist, and God arrives and says, “I never knew you. I don’t even recognize you.” It reminds me of that joke where the lady is dying and she went to heaven and then God says he’s giving her ten more years and sends her back. She thinks if she’s got ten more years, she’d going to do some updating, so she gets a face lift and a tummy tuck and a few other procedures, and a week later, she gets killed crossing the street. When she gets to heaven, she says to God, “What in the world? You told me I had ten more years!” God looks at her again and says, “Oh, my, that was you? I didn’t recognize you!”
I can remember when I was a teenager, times I was worried about my relationship with the Lord, and I would sometimes fear that I would be killed in a car wreck or something and not make it. I can’t think of anything worse – to NOT KNOW. I would ask you, if you died tonight, do you know where you would go? If you don’t know, you CAN KNOW. All you have to do is ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and ask him to abide in your heart. It’s a decision that I’ve never known anyone to regret!
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.