By Patricia Ellington
I am Patricia Ellington, Tommy’s mother.
First of all, I have good news for you: God loves you!
Next, I want you to know that I have forgiven whoever shot and killed my son, Tommy Ellington, because I know who we are dealing with, but I do expect justice.
That was the easy part. Now for the hard part:
On Monday morning, October 2, 2017, I was in my kitchen and heard a commotion behind me. It was my grandson, Brian Ellington. I wondered, “Why is Brian in my kitchen at this time of day? He should be at work. I felt his presence as he put his arms around me and he said so tenderly, “Granny, Tommy has been shot.” He gave me time to process this and then he said, “He’s not coming back.” My response was, “Where was he shot? And do you mean he is dead?” He said, “Yes. I’ve come to get you.”
We left immediately and when we got to Tommy’s house, I told Brian I wanted to go where he was. He warned me that I wouldn’t be allowed, but I wanted to try. So we ducked under the yellow tape and an officer said, “You can’t get any closer. You might mess up the evidence.” As a mother, I wanted to hold him in my arms and tell him it would be alright. As a nurse, I wanted to stop the bleeding – that would be my first priority. But I couldn’t get close to him. So Brian said, “Let’s go in the house.” He told me not to look out the window, but I did anyway.
As I was staring out the window in the direction of Tommy’s body, I was thinking, “What would Tommy say to me if he could speak now?” I could hear his words, “Mama, do something! Do something!” These words stayed in my heart all day. By the end of the day Monday, as we left to go home, it was dark, and I didn’t get to go to the place in the driveway where he had fallen. So the next day, my other son, Barry, and I came back and I told Barry I wanted to go where Tommy had been. He walked there with me. Blood was everywhere. I said, “Here is the evidence.” My mind went to the scripture about Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:10 “[God said to Cain], ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.”
Tommy’s blood will ever be crying out to me: “Mama, do something!”
I pondered this scene and various scriptures from the Bible, off and on all day. That night was a sleepless one, and this memory came to my mind: Twenty to thirty years ago, after attending a Christian retreat and realizing that there was a spiritual darkness in our area, a friend and I began to pray for a spiritual awakening in Henderson and Vance County. And then it hit me: This is the answer to my prayers. This tragedy must awaken the people of Henderson and Vance County and beyond. We must use this situation for good, and for God’s glory. As I thought about this, I realized, this is a spiritual battle and the battle is the LORD’s (I Samuel 17:47). Our part is to pray, to be salt and light and to spread the good news about Jesus.
Listen to Ephesians 6:10-12,18: “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places…18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
This passage of Scripture is evidence that this is a spiritual battle. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Tommy went out to go to work on Monday morning, but met someone who had come out for war. We must put on our armor and pray against the strategies of the devil and for the abundant life Jesus came to give. This will make the devil mad, so be assured all hell will break loose. But Jesus said, “…the gates of hell shall not prevail.” (Matthew 16:18)
I will say it again: We must realize this is a spiritual battle.
We cannot look to our law enforcement or political leaders to fix a heart problem. Only God can change the heart. There is evil and wickedness here in Henderson and Vance County. As I read before from Ephesians 6, our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers of darkness. We are dealing with demonic activity. But I’ve got news for the devil: We have the victory in Jesus Christ! The devil’s days are short, for Jesus is coming and will cast him and all evil away and He will reign in righteousness. I will remind you: our part is to pray, to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. We must pray against the drug cartels, dealers, peddlers, and anyone and anything that is keeping righteousness and justice from prevailing.
The battle is the LORD’s and His Word says, “[if] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) My friends, it is “decision day.” I am asking you to make a choice. As Joshua told the Israelites: “…choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) I’m asking you to choose today where you will take your stand: with Jesus or with the devil. We are plainly told in the Scripture to repent of our sins or face the wrath of God. This week, we have come face to face with sin, evil, and unbelief. My prayer for you is that you will choose Jesus, who died on the cross and paid the penalty for our sins. He was buried, He rose from the dead, He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of our Heavenly Father. Along with all that I have been praying for us here on earth, Jesus is there and interceding for us.
My son, Tommy, has fought the good fight of faith and finished his earthly course. Please don’t let the spilling of Tommy’s blood be in vain. (2 Timothy 4:7) Make your decision today and LET’S DO SOMETHING!
In memory of Tommy, please join our family in this prayer:
“Lord, this battle is yours. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. We pray against the demonic activity surrounding us and for Your will to be done. Use us to show Your love and to create a thirst in others for You. Let Your light dispel the darkness. We pray for those in authority – for protection and for the courage to exercise godly wisdom. We ask all of this in the powerful Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”