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Religious Soldier Gifts Atheist Mate a Bible and One Day It Shields Him from Death — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Jun 24, 2022
09:00 A.M.
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The Word of God can save your soul, but did you ever imagine it could save your life?

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This is a story that I thought I'd never tell. I never imagined I'd be this man, standing here, talking about God and death and war. Those words don't go together, do they?

And yet, death and war are what brought me here, to God, and to the life I have now. God didn't just save my soul, His Word saved my life -- with a little help from Ben Neville.

God and faith had no place in my life. | Source: Unsplash

God and faith had no place in my life. | Source: Unsplash

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I didn't like Neville, OK? Let me be honest about it right out front. I thought he was a bit of a wuss. Here we were, stationed halfway around the world from home-sweet-home, and he was constantly whimpering about his wife.

You may not believe in God, but God believes in you.

Look, we all missed home and our women, but that didn't mean we couldn't go out and have a beer, right? Not Neville! He didn't drink, and he didn't play cards, and if he ever noticed there were some pretty women around it was a miracle.

So anyway, one day one of the guys, Burt, saw this tin box on his bed. "Hey, Neville!" he cried. "What's in here? Nude snaps of your wife?" Burt grabbed the tin and started prying it open.

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"STOP!" Neville screamed and he threw himself at Burt, really swinging! "That's mine, take your hands off it!"

The tin fell on the ground and sprung open. There were no nude pics in there, only a battered-looking black book with a cross on the cover. "Hey!" I cried. "It's Neville's bedtime reading!"

Neville carried around an old tin box. | Source: Unsplash

Neville carried around an old tin box. | Source: Unsplash

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Neville snatched it up and put it back in the tin. "This is precious to me," he said. "The most powerful thing in my life..."

I grinned. I was pretty arrogant back then. I rolled up my sleeve and flexed my muscles. "THIS is power," I said. Then I picked up my gun. "THIS is power! You stand in the line of fire with that Bible in your hands and see what happens!"

Neville just looked at me. "I think..." he said softly. "Yes, I think one of these days God is going to show you what real power is."

I just laughed, you know, but something about the way he said that gave me goosebumps. I just stayed away from Neville from then on. Then I heard he was being sent Stateside.

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The day before he left he came to me. "Jack," he said. "I want to give you something." He had that dented tin in his hands and he handed it to me.

"THIS is power!" | Source: Unsplash

"THIS is power!" | Source: Unsplash

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"This Bible went with my dad to Vietnam and it brought him home safe," he explained. "I'm going home. My wife is having a baby, you know."

I blinked. "No, I didn't," I said. "Congratulations! But about this Bible...Man, I don't believe in God!"

Neville grinned. "That's OK, Jack! God believes in you," he said. "And you're going to need this Bible. Just promise me you'll bring it back, OK? I want to pass it on to my kid!"

I wanted to give that Bible back, but something stopped me. So I thanked him, tucked the tin in my backpack, and never thought about it again.

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Two weeks later, I was to remember Neville and his Bible. The boys and I were in a convoy, moving to a new district, and we were caught in an ambush.

"You're going to need this Bible." | Source: Unsplash

"You're going to need this Bible." | Source: Unsplash

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The armored car in front of us just flipped over, then there was gunfire, and dirt fountains exploding around us, and the taste of fear in my mouth. I felt a huge fist punch me in the back and I was out.

When I woke up, I was in a field hospital and a tired-looking doctor was sticking a needle in my arm. "Doc!" I gasped. "What..."

I couldn't feel my legs! "My legs!" I cried.

The doctor smiled. "It's alright, soldier," he said gently. "That's just the effect of the epidural. You had some shrapnel in your back. If it had gone in another millimeter you'd be dead or paralyzed. You can thank that Bible you've been carrying around in your backpack!"

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He handed me the tin with the Bible in it, and I could see that something jagged had punched right through the tin and the pages.

When I woke up, I was in a field hospital. | Source: Unsplash

When I woke up, I was in a field hospital. | Source: Unsplash

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I touched it reverently. "This stopped the shrapnel?" I asked.

"Yes it did," the doctor said. "You could say it was a miracle if you believe in that kind of thing."

"Doc," I said. "I think I do believe..."

During my recovery, I started reading the Bible (not Neville's Bible, it was shredded) and it made sense, you know? I felt the words echoing in my heart, I felt the truth.

When I got home, I took the Bible to Neville and I told him what had happened. "I'm sorry, man," I said. "I know how much this Bible meant to you, and now it's ruined."

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That Bible transformed my life. | Source: Unsplash

That Bible transformed my life. | Source: Unsplash

Neville gave me this amazing, glorious smile. "It's not ruined, Jack," he said. "It's proof of a miracle!"

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What can we learn from this story?

  • God works miracles in every life. Jack mocked Neville until his life was saved by the Bible he was carrying in his backpack.
  • You may not believe in God, but God believes in you. When God's hand touches your life, His power is undeniable, whether you believe it or not.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an eleven-year-old girl who is abandoned in her family home after her siblings and her parents leave. Then one day, a soldier arrives.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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