Every young boy dreams of becoming a cowboy, a fireman, or maybe even a pirate, and I did too. I also dreamed of having a nickname that sounded dangerous and exciting—something like Buffalo Bill or Long John Silver.
When I was 27 years old, my dream came true. On a routine visit to the eye doctor, something unusual was discovered in my left eye. After several weeks of testing, I was rolled into the operating room for surgery on my eye. Only God knew what the outcome of that surgery would be. As I slowly regained consciousness several hours later, my wife gave me the startling news. "The doctor found cancer. Your left eye is gone."
The doctor gave me my first eye patch, and suddenly I was a pirate! Kids were fascinated by my pirate patch. Everywhere I went children would call out to their embarrassed mothers, "Look, Mom! There goes a pirate!" The children in my church gave me a nickname that stuck-Patch the Pirate.
Looking back, I can clearly see how God prepared me for this experience. Several years before I lost my eye, God's truth had dramatically changed my life. Verses such as Romans 3:23 , "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God," had shown me I was a sinner who needed God's help. And when I found out that all sinners "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire" (Revelation 21:8 ), I was really concerned about where I would spend eternity.
Then I read, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 ), and John 3:16 , "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I'll never forget kneeling all alone by my bed one night and telling the Lord I was sorry for all my sin. Believing that Jesus Christ had died on the cross for me, I asked Him to forgive me and become my Savior. Since that night, my life has been dramatically different because Jesus Christ has been in control. I not only have the joy of knowing that I'm going to Heaven when I die, but I also have the assurance that God is working all things together for good in my life right now.
Yes, I lost my eye to cancer, but God transformed my loss into a great blessing. The Lord has given me and my family an exciting ministry to families around the world through Patch the Pirate Story and Song cassettes and CDs. We also have a nationwide broadcast called The Adventures of Patch the Pirate that you can hear on this web page. God has been so good!
You too can experience God's love and peace by turning from your sin and receiving Christ into your heart as your Savior. I know there are all sorts of so-called "new religions" being manufactured today. But I also know "there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 ). Jesus Christ is the only one who can save us.
Will you pray the same prayer that I prayed by my bed that night? Will you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior? Your eternal destiny depends upon your decision.
Thank you for letting me share a little of what God has done in my life. I pray that the Lord will greatly work in your life also.
May God richly bless you,
Ron "Patch" Hamilton