Benjamin ("Son of my right hand") Christian ("Follower of Jesus") Murdock ("From the dark sea"), my son, my beloved son-took our car at 16 1/2 years old to go see a girl he had met on the Internet one year earlier. He drove non-stop, 2600 miles, so strong was his desire to see her. We believe he intended to marry her. Something went terribly wrong, and he shot himself in the head, while sitting in the car in front of her house. There is a little place in my heart that never stops crying.
Oh how we loved him, and oh, how we miss him: My wife, Tami, 55, our daughter, Khendra,12, my stepchildren, Jerry,38, and Shannon, 36.
A couple months before he was born, I would talk to him in the womb. I watched him being born. He was crying when I went to get him from the nursery. "Don't cry, Daddy is here," I said. He immediately stopped crying, and was peaceful as I strolled him to his delighted mother.
From the beginning it was clear he was very gifted. At two, he could read fluently. At 6, he was a Minnesota state piano winner, in the 6-9 year old group. At 9, he was a state winner in Tennessee. Everything he did, he strove to win. I coached his football team, and Ben was named to the all-star team. He took second place in the city basketball shootout. He was district champion in Nintendo. He was named one of the outstanding High School students in Tennessee.
As heightened as his intellect, so were his emotions, and his empathy. At two, he would put on Bobby Vinton singing, "Lonely, I'm Mister Lonely", and tears would stream down his face, until his mother explained that the guy wasn't that lonely, he was just singing a song. He and I did a lot of work in the projects, helping black kids. Most of his white friends deserted him over this, but he didn't care. He would reply, "I wish I was black." He went to an all black dance and amazed them all with his breakdancing (I saw it on TV a couple times").
I cannot tell you how close he and I were. We went everywhere together. My wife would share movie videos with him in the afternoon, and basketball games. His sister adored him ("He was my best friend").
He put up a home page on the internet, and proudly declared, "Jesus is the number one love of my life." Several months later, December 19, 1996, he dedicated his life to Jesus, before two members of the Gideons.
This was following the second time he attempted to drive to California. He did not want to take any of our money, so he had left both times with less than $10. Both times he was caught stealing gas in Tumcumcari, New Mexico. The first time we rented a car to go get him. The second time there were no one-way rentals where we now lived, so I hopped a bus on Christmas day, and went to get him. It was this second time that the Gideons had come to see him, while he was spending 15 days in the detention center. He promised us he had dumped the girl, and would not take our car again. He never spoke of her again. The next 7 months were very peaceful. A week before he left, we made a great home video of all of us. Two days before he left, he told me I was his best friend. He hugged me tightly, and my wife and daughter joined in.
After he left, I was praying to God, and asking Him to watch over my son. "My son," He replied. "Yes, Lord, Your son, too. Our son," I said. "I love him so much," I said. "I love him more," He replied.
My wife had asked me, "What if you ask God for something, fully believing, and He doesn't do it?" "If you fully believe", I said, "then He will tell you why He is not doing it."
I was driving down the road to get money from the bank machine, so I could hop a plane first thing in the morning. It was dark. My son lay in a hospital in California, with a bullet in his head. The doctor gave him no chance to live. While I was driving, the hospital called my wife and told her Ben's brain had stopped. Suddenly, the glove box flew open. "Ben is dead," I said in my heart. "This is a sign." As I closed the glove box, I heard a voice say, "I didn't mean to hurt anyone." I looked to my right, and there was Ben's face, shining in the darkness. "I know you didn't, Ben, I know you didn't," I replied. His face moved closer, until it was about one foot from my head. "I am so, so sorry," he said. "I know you are, Ben. I know you are," I replied. His face started to move again. Suddenly I felt his arm move around my back, as he hugged me tightly, and told me how much he loved me. "I love you, too," I replied. "I love you very much. Jesus will forgive your sins." "But I have done so many things wrong," he said. "So have I Ben, so have I," I told him. "But I have done so many more," he said. "Jesus died for all our sins," I told him. He died for all of them." His face was calm and peaceful. I knew I could keep him no longer. "Now go back to your body, " I said, "and God will give you life." Instantly, he was gone. "Now it's just you and me, God," I said. In saying this, I realized God had been with us the whole time. I started singing loud songs of praise to Him and to Jesus. Someday soon we will be with Ben in Heaven. We thank God many times each day for saving Ben. And right next to the little place in my heart that never stops crying, is my hope.
You can send email to Roy at: [email protected]
anniversary date 07-17-97
date of post 10-26-97