As co-founder of the Randolph County Cowboy Church, Terry Roberson is no stranger to sharing his faith.
Yet, a recent COVID scare inspired him to write a program unlike any other sermon.
In mid-October, Roberson – known in these parts as the “Singing Cowboy” for performing music – and his wife contracted COVID. When his wife, who had underlying medical conditions, collapsed, Roberson called an ambulance to escort her to the hospital.
He soon found himself joining her.
“You just lost all energy,” he said of the disease. “My wife collapsed here on the floor. That was the last straw – I couldn’t do anymore for her. I had to call for ambulance help … When (your oxygen saturation level) gets so low, you just give out. That’s what happened to her. Mine, a very short time later, dropped down into the upper 70s, and that’s way too low, so my doctor sent me to the hospital and (my wife and I) were in there together.”
Unfortunately, his wife was unable to recover from the disease.
“The Lord is merciful, but eventually he saw fit to bring her home,” Roberson said. “Of course it’s hurtful to me. I had my moments, but … when you love somebody enough, you have to let go because it would be selfish and almost sinful to want to keep them here and (they) continue to suffer like that.”
On Nov. 19, Roberson was discharged from the hospital and transferred to Evergreen Pointe Transitional Care in Waterloo.
“I just really owe these people a lot because they took such excellent care of me; they are very attentive,” Roberson said. “There are some really dear hearts that work there.”
He noted that the Evergreen Pointe team not only helped him heal physically, but also ensured he was not alone in grieving the recent passing of his wife.
“They’re humanists,” he said. “They were not only concerned about my physical welfare, but my mental welfare as well. How grand to be able to have such an outlet at your disposal? It’s exactly what you need.”
Roberson said he was particularly impressed with two Evergreen Pointe employees – Tracy Sharp and Nicki Strong. He said he was very touched when one night he asked Nikki for a snack and she brought him a fresh, comforting grilled cheese.
“I think if I could get a good look at the picture of the women who washed Jesus’ feet at the cross, I think (their faces) would have been there,” he said of Strong.
It was in this recovery facility Roberson came up with the idea for his new program, titled “Second Chance: A Different Approach.”
“I laid in bed in that convalescence (home) and wondered why I was left here and my wife was taken home, and it just came to me that … my wife’s time for misery was done and her (time) to go to eternal life was due, and I have more purpose here,” he said. “So, I’ve written a program that I’m going to be taking around.”
He explained this program draws on his experiences as a cowboy, as well as incorporates perspectives from his recent battle with COVID.
“I’ve been a cowboy all of my life and I think … The Code of the West and so on … is close to Christianity. I want to bring that to people and try to help them realize how important it is to have God in our life without it being overwhelming. People should make the choice themselves, but I hope for them to see something in me that will bring them to that choice that they’ll want to enjoy the things that I do because of my Christian life.”
He said such things are finding joy in everyday life and finding contentment no matter where he is in life.
It’s only fitting that the “Singing Cowboy” incorporate his music expertise into his program. Roberson said he will be singing a “song of inspiration” to kick off the talk.
Roberson said he hopes to bring the program to churches, organizations, assisted living communities and other similar venues across the area and he will be glad to do so free of charge.
For more information, contact Roberson at 618-567-8443.
On a broader note, Roberson said much of what the Bible says is applicable to the pandemic – even with the debate over vaccinations and other COVID precautions.
“I believe that the social distancing and mask wearing are tremendously important to do, but I also respect people that don’t want to do the vaccinations (and other precautions),” Roberson said. “We live in confusing times. If you read the Book of Luke, it tells you that we are going to see confusing times and nations rising above nations, and that’s pretty much where we are right now. Again, it’s got to be your choice, and we have to respect others’ choices.”
Roberson said ultimately, it’s all in God’s hands, and his experience in the hospital made him stronger.
“It could have been easy for me to say, ‘Well, I’m a Christian man and I believe in God and so therefore I won’t get COVID,’ but how dare I assume that? I can’t assume that. If you read the Book of Job in the Bible, he went through such trials and tribulations and tests, but they were there for a reason. And if you read the book … it has a wonderful ending and Job is indeed stronger because of what happened, and that’s what it’s done for me. I couldn’t presume that I would be exempt from it. I hoped I would, but there’s a reason for everything in life. We don’t always understand that, but if you just wait and be patient, most of the times He will show you why these things happen.”