Devotion for Week of July 9, 2012 - THE REST OF THE STORY



Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

Most everybody is familiar with the story "Gone with the Wind."  Few though know the real story.  What many people don’t know is that the original novel wasn’t just romantic novel, it was based on real people.

Yes, there was a Rhett Butler, though his real name was Rhett Turnipseed.  And there was a Scarlett O’Hara, though her real name was Emelyn Louise Hannon.  And yes, Rheet really did walk out on her and join the Confederate army.

The history of what happen next has been kept by Rhett’s family, the Turnipseeds, a fine old South Carolina family.  It was recounted in a column by Wesley Pruden in the Washington Times.

After the Civil War, Rhett Turnipseed became a drifter and gambler, eventually ending up in Nashville, Tennessee.  On Easter morning 1871, Rhett attended a Methodist revival meeting.  He was moved by what he heard and converted to the Christian faith.

Soon after, Rhett attended divinity classes at Vanderbilt University.  Eventually he became a Methodist preacher, riding a circuit in rural Kentucky.

Did Rhett and Scarlett (Emelyn) ever cross paths again?  Yes, the Turnipseeds tell the following story.  Reverend Rhett was worried about a young woman in his flock.

He found the young woman, but he was told the Madame of the house had no intention of letting her go.  Asking to speak to the Madame, Rhett discovered that she was none other than his former love, Scarlett.  Excuse me-Emelyn Louise Hannon.  Reverend Rhett challenged the Madame to a game of cards.  If he won, the young girl he had come to fetch would be free to leave: and win he did, with a royal straight flush-an ace, king, queen, jack and ten of spades.

The story ends well for all concerned.  The young girl married well.  After her encounter with the reformed Rhett, Emelyn left prostitution, converted to Christianity, and joined the Methodist Church.  Eventually she opened an orphanage for Cherokee children.  She died in 1903, and her grave is marked to this day.


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