The Case for an Invincible Life

9 09 2009

Invincible life

“I’ve seen God do so much with so little for so long I now believe he can do anything with nothing… including me.”

– E.E. Cleveland

Edward Earl Cleveland was an ordinary man, but he submitted so fully to the cause of Christ that he was and is the greatest example of an Invincible Life many will ever witness.

If it’s stats that you want, he’d be considered All-World: 16 books published, nearly 60 years of ministry, over 13,000 baptized by his hand, Thousands of men and women taught and trained by that same hand, tens of thousands more left with the indelible mark of his conviction and love for the Lord.

But the true measure of his service is that nearly anyone who has known his name, also knows of a particular shared moment with this giant among men.

The following is my most cherished of the many I had with this man:

In the Spring of 2007 Elders E.E. Cleveland and T.M. Kelly came to our church for a weekend of restoration. After the Sabbath service for which he preached and Elder Kelly sang, dinner was provided back at the church for them.

As the meal had ended, they were both preparing to leave the room as I walked up. I always knew the ‘code word’ we exchanged each time we met, and was always so happy to say it to him. “Strannie Bell Wright” I said to him, and instantly his eyes would light up. Strannie was my late grandmother, and also a long-time bible worker for him. As the eyes lit up, he grabbed my arm and said “Good to see ya my boy”.

I knew he was on his way out, and I didn’t want to hold him but there was something else I had to do. With that, I lifted the hand of the woman was beside me. “Elder Cleveland”, I said, ” I want you to meet my fiance!”

He took her hand, and said “Oh, your finance?” I stammered back, “N-no sir, my fi-an-ce…” a little slower and louder.  He looked at me slowly, “No son, you heard me right, your finance!” And then I understood…

Leaving me to absorb the moment I was just catching up to, He turned to Kenay and she introduced herself. As she finished he turned back to me, extended his famous two-fingered point back at her and said “She’ll do.”

Getting a “She’ll do.” from E.E. was not a passive statement, but a declarative one instead. See, he wasn’t saying that she was ‘just ok’ or that I could do better. He was saying in no uncertain terms that I was marrying a worker for Christ. She will DO!

This whole exchange took all of 45 seconds but obviously has meant a great deal to me to this day.

Again, the stats are one thing, but the moments that we shared with this man such as the one I just shared are where he was most effective.

Edward Earl Cleveland was the greatest man I’ve ever known. I’m also pretty sure he was the greatest man my father ever knew since both he and I got our middle names from him. He without a doubt lived out a life with a thirst to one day…

Live Invincibly,

@W: Adrian EARL Wright




2 responses

9 09 2009
Wanda Jenkins

What a wonderful memory and how well said! And you’re right…to get a “She’ll do” from Elder Cleveland is major!

10 09 2009

Thanks Wanda, clearly the man KNEW what he was talking about cause he married a ‘Doer’ of the highest order as well lol.

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