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A Rare, Noble Man

As soon as it beeped, I reached for the phone beside me and as I lifted it, I saw the number was an unfamiliar one. A text message read:

 

This is Dave Estey. The man that was driving the truck. I have read the book and want you to know how sorry I am. This is my contact number if anyone would ever need to speak to me further. With the deepest regret. God bless. Dave
 

I did not know anyone named Dave Estey, but as soon as I read his message, I knew that indeed, I did know him. He was the driver of the truck that twenty-five years ago had struck my husband as he stood beside a disabled car, leaving him so critically injured that he spent five months in St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, CA.

Some of you will know that several years ago I wrote a book entitled A Thousand Pieces in which I told the story of Jerry’s death in the street, the lady who revived him, his almost unbelievably severe injuries, and his remarkable recovery. I also told that the driver of the truck who hit Jerry was driving with a suspended license, had no insurance, no assets, was drunk, and was high on methamphetamines.

 

A Thousand Pieces has been an inspiration to scores of people, and is now in its fourth printing. Among other places, it is available at Amazon.

So, as I looked at my phone on January 17, 2019, I came to the reckoning that Dave Estey was that driver.

“Jerry,” I called across the room. “Listen to this text I just received.”

The details are too many to include here, but know this: Jerry and I during the past two days have come to know that Dave Estey is a rare man, one of meekness and goodness; of sweetness and of love. He has fought demons most of his life and is a deeply wounded man. But now, in his early fifties, he has come to himself,  is analyzing his life, and is making restitution. He is humble, remorseful, and truly repentant. Two days ago, he sat by Jerry in a restaurant, looked him square in the face, and, prefaced by several long sentences, said, “I am sorry.”

And my husband . . .in his sweet, slow way, put his hand atop Dave’s, and said, “I forgave you twenty-five years ago.” The sweet presence of God hovered about us, and we all, I believe, wept.

As I said earlier, the whole story is too long to tell here, but you should know this. Sometime back, Dave began searching for Jerry Buxton, and as he did, he came across this blog, learned through it of A Thousand Pieces, and ordered a copy from Amazon. He then made the contact to which I have referred, and made other contacts, which resulted in our meeting together. He lives 450 miles away from us. Last Tuesday he drove down to our area, and along with his wife, and two of our friends, Patrick and Holly Garrett, Jerry and I met him at the Claim Jumper in San Bernardino.

I have essentially finished writing a book called Dream Shards and was working on some drafting of it when the first text from Dave came. The gist of the new book is that each of us has dreams and at one time or another they all shatter. The issue then is what we do about it? Do we wallow around in the ashes, the shards, or do we pick up the pieces and fashion a new piece? A new dream? The coexistence and interaction of Jerry’s story and Dave’s story must be a part of that book. So even though I was through writing it, I am adding another chapter. Dave and I will be communicating by phone and email and the rest of his story will be told in that book.

In the meantime, I submit to you that Dave Estey is a rare and courageous man, and despite his sordid history, he is a good man. We are still shaken about this meeting, and believe it involves more than can be seen or understood. No doubt it is of the spiritual realm, and is directed by God. Both Jerry and I believe Dave has caught a vision of righteousness and godliness, and we will continue to do all we can to lead him to a full biblical experience with God. Please pray for all of us.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

94 replies on “A Rare, Noble Man”

To my dear friends Shirley and Pastor Gerald

There were so many ways this story could have unfolded.
And there are still many ways the story will unfold.

No man would ever be called a rare and noble person in the world who brought such a tragic event and suffering to these people the way I have.

Unless of course, these people were real and true people of God.

The way you both have received me after all this time. The way Jerry made sure he established his forgiveness for me while in the hospital before I could even apologize. The peaceful, meaningful conversation about life, trials and making the right choices with Jerry. And the spoken words from Jerry..”Dave, there is nothing like the Church.”

You just can’t make people like the Buxton’s up. This was the pinnacle of an example of true believers who continue to lay down their lives in the service of the Lord.

I will be forever in debt and will never forget the power of who you were in this moment and have remained since.

Today, I receive calls from Jerry with counsel and reminders of the prayers from him and Shirley. There are no words to illustrate the magnitude of this on my life. Well, Shirley may be able to expand on this with the gift she has.

Thank you!!!

Looking forward to our next.

Dave

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Sis. Buxton, Oh, what an amazing God we serve! He knows just how to reach a soul and who is willing and available to be used to accomplish His purpose and plans. What a message of what a true child of God looks and acts like. I thank God for real Christians like you and Bro. Buxton. Not just anyone is ready to be used by God, in such a manner, as the two of you have been for this mission, which the incident of 25 years ago is the key to. Oh! My! What a wonder our Lord is! And what two amazing people you are. Love and appreciate you and Bro Buxton greatly. Praying for all of you in this and what ever else God has in store.

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Thank you for this response. Thank you so much. Your line, “What a wonder our Lord is!” resonates so often with me. Please help us pray for Dave. He has been so hurt throughout his life. Needs God desperately.

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What a blessing and amazing gift to have this contact with Dave after twenty five years. God doesn’t waste anything, and this is a wonderful example of His faithfulness in bringing good out of pain. I plan to buy your book, want to read the whole story. Blessings!

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Thank you Carol for reading and commenting here. You’re right; this contact from Dave has been an amazing gift. Startling, almost. Hope A Thousand Pieces blesses you, and that Dream Shards–when it is published–does so also.

I bless the day we met.

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Such a blessing dear sister in Christ. Our Father is a redeeming, sanctifying and healing Lord. I praise our Lord Jesus Christ for His work of forgiveness, grace and love, received by you both, and shown through you as His very hands and feet, ambassadors of the grace of our king and Lord!
I was 7 years old when i was watching the King of kings on TV. I was so distraught that they were crucifying Jesus the one who was healing everyone! Then i heard this….”Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” I remember saying as a 7 year old, “He is God!” How can anyone be hung on the cross to die and ask the Father’s forgiveness for the ones killing Him? Mercy and forgiveness is our Lords sweet character by the power of his Holy Spirit alone. Thank you Shirley and also to your husband for loving my friend David and his wife Dana! You are being used by our Father as He draws David by His kindness into understanding the relationship of power and grace given him through Jesus. Ephesians 3:20 <

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Fred, thank you for your thoughtful remarks. It has been our pleasure to meet Dave and his dear wife Dana. We continue to look to Jesus, the “author and finisher of our faith.” Blessings always.

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Tears rolling down my cheeks as my mind raced back to the night before Bro Burton’s accident. Unable to sleep , thinking about God and life – a flash before my eyes – like I was watching a movie – of an explosion and blinding lights, my heart began to race wondering who was in trouble? Then again it came! I began to pray. When we heard about the accident my husband and I knew what it was about! It’s been said already but WOW what an amazing story- Our GOD makes everything beautiful – his ways and timing are perfect. Dave and his wife are in my prayers as are you and Bro. Buxton. You 2 are a true example of a Christian . Thank you! I feel very inadequate with words …thank you again you have blessed me so many times through your and Bro. Buxton’s ministries!🙏

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Oh, my. Have you told us this before? Thank you for your prayers. Thank you so much. The kind remarks are undeserved, but we appreciate them. Our love and blessings……..Maybe we know you. Maybe we don’t.

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Miss Shirley, this really touched my heart. Who knows that what happened to Bro. Buxton might lead to such a time as this. I await for the next chapter in this rare, noble man’s life. Love you all.

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I remember the day we got the news of the accident. I remember praying for weeks and later seeing you guys at General Conference. This shows the amazing Grace of God. No matter how bad the hurt Jesus can help us forgive and he will accept our renpence for things we did wrong as well. May God continue to bless you and lead Dave to a new understanding of the mercy of Jesus.

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I was at the camp meeting that year and remember praying many times after hearing of the accident. Reading “A Thousand Pieces” was so inspiring. God truly does work all things to the good, even though it’s hard to see at certain times. May God continue to bless you and your family. Prayers for Mr. Estey.

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Dear Shirley, In my 73 years of life, I’ve never heard a true story like this one. Isaiah 61 – Jesus was coming with the good news of salvation and also to heal the broken in heart and to set the captives free (of their toxic thinking of guilt/shame, etc.)
I pray for you both in your contact with Dave and wife. It’s amazing what God can do when we allow Him to love others through us. I pray God’s truth invades their lives for His glory!

Love, Carol Clemans

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Sis. Buxton’s, I was a young person attending Bro. Kenneth Field’s church when that terrible accident happened. We all prayed for Bro. Buxton’s. I vividly remember Bro. Buxton’s giving his testimony from a wheelchair of what God had done! I’ve never forgotten the miraculous healing and have recalled it in times when I have needed encouragement. What an amazing story and I pray Dave is lead to the full gospel of the Holy Ghost. What incredibly people of God you both are. I’m very thankful for Elders like you that have impacted my life and you never knew it. 😊

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What an amazing God we serve! He is so loving and forgiving and always working to bring all of us closer to HIM! I believe that is what is happening for Dave. Thank you for showing him God’s love! Our prayers will be with you for complete salvation for Dave.
Roffie Ensey

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Sister Ensey, I appreciate your words so much, and yes! God truly is amazing. It boggles my mind that anyone would choose not to serve Him, for it is so beautiful to walk with Him–every day. Thank you for continuing to pray for Dave.

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It’s such a God-thing, Shirley! How remarkable… How almost-unbelievable. Who could have predicted this development?! And yet God always knew.

We will pray for you all. Surely God has a plan for you in each other’s lives.

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We will never forget that day 25 years ago, walking into E.R. waiting room at St John’s Hospital and seeing you on your knees with your hands lifted in prayer for your dear husband, Bro. Buxton. My husband and I are in tears hearing how God as brought Dave and his wife into your lives. Gods ways are past finding out and His plan unfolds so beautifully. We will pray for Dave and his wife and can’t wait to read your book. We love you both and are still so grateful for Gods healing power everytime we see you and your husband.

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Thank you for those wonderful memories, Sister Cameron. We have lived such a blessed life, and now to meet this very dear man, and his dear wife, is just incredible. Thank you for praying for them. Love you so very much.

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Fascinating story, amazing God, truly wonderful people and I can’t wait for the story to be continued; I think it will cause ‘wonder and amazement’ as Acts 3…

I am buying both books and can’t wait to read them as you are a very accomplished writer.

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Shirley Buxton, what an awesome, full circle , story of tragedy turned to victory, because of forgiveness, repentance, and God’s love! Every time I look at, now my Pastor’s wife, Tiffany, my youngest daughter, I remember the horror of that May 28, 1982, when she was in a horrible traffic accident. Her recovery, showed the kindness of people, the miraculous power of God, and the healing of the body, and the love of family! I remember visiting you and Bro Buxton at the rehab facility! Thanks for your love and understanding, and your part in the healing for Dave! Love Y’all

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My husband and I were talking about Tiffany’s accident just the other day. Such events leave us totally changed, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Love the Abbotts so much. Please help us pray for dear Dave and his wife. They are so precious to us.

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Amazing story when God rewrites your story and I feel that GOD is rewriting Dave’s! How amazing for Dave to see you both alive and well as a witness of the miracles of God. Hugs to Dave and his sweet wife.

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Brother Pryor, when we first sat down at our table, we were all so overwhelmed, and the presence of God was so strong, Brother Garrett, said, “Let’s pray now.” We had only met Dave and his wife minutes before, but it seemed the perfect thing to do. The whole thing truly has amazed me. Please help us pray about this. Love you and your family.

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God’s love is overwhelming. This doesn’t just read beautiful but IS beautiful. I love you both so much and will pray with you for this family. Can not wait for your new book.

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What an amazing story. It touched my heart. I’m going to share it with my 5K friends on Facebook. You are a amazing lady and a talented writer. Wow!

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Beautiful! Our God is a God of redemption. We’ll believe with you that Dave and his family will be truly born again as a result of this contact. Love you both!

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What an awesome testimony!! I truly believe God has his hand in all of this!! Praying for God’s will to be done and expecting to hear more great news in the future!!
We love you both and our prayers and thoughts are with you!!
Love, Mike & Paula❤️

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Thank you, Paula for taking the time to post here. I know you and your dear husband are going through very challenging days at this time. What a consolation–what a deep consolation–when we face dreadful news to know God cares for us, He knows our way, and that God’s church will rally like no other organism on this earth.
Love you both so much. We continue to frequently pray for you and for Mike’s healing.

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Beautifully powerful! Thank you for sharing dear Man and Woman of God! Your WAP writing friend from years gone by….. Richard M. Davis

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Brother Davis, thank you for posting here and for the kind remarks. Yes, when something spectacular like this happens to us, it is like Jeremiah, I believe, who said, “It is like fire shut up in my bones!”………Blessings always.

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I am overwhelmed with emotion at the story you have shared and compelled to now read the book, both of them. We all have brokenness … dreams that have come and gone…. new dreams to now embrace.

“The issue then is what we do about it? Do we wallow around in the ashes, the shards, or do we pick up the pieces and fashion a new piece? A new dream?”

To this I can relate, looking forward to “Dream shards”

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Wow so amazing, that is just like Bro. Buxton so forgiving and loving. Always reaching out. We will pray for Dave to have complete peace and direction with God. In Jesus name. ❤️

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Oh Sis. Buxton, this brings tears to my eyes reading this. It is the mercies of God that brought this man to you at this point in life. Wow! I can’t wait for your book. Love you,

Cyndi Martinez

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I am in awe of what God is orchestrating through this horrible ordeal. I believe great things will come out of it. The Grogans love and respect the Buxtons and we are thankful our lives crossed back in 1976. What a story of love and forgiveness this truly is. I am looking forward to the new book and what God will continue to do in Dave’s life. Love to you and yours!

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How beautiful! So like you and your precious husband to love Dave! My family is in tears as I read this story of repentance and restoration! May God bless all of you and I can’t wait to hear all that God will do for Dave as he walks away from this guilt! We love you! Thank you for sharing!

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I dont know why when reading this i wanted to cry. Im so glad he was able to make some peace with a part of his past. And im so happy to see the pictures of my first pastor and his lovely wife looking so well! What a blessing you both have been to my life! I will be looking for your book on Amazon!

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Oh, Shirley. God is so good. He’s a God of mercy and grace–a God of forgiveness and new life–a God of healing. If anyone reading this hasn’t read A Thousand Pieces, I recommend you do.

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I’am so happy that this event happened. This story is at the top of the list of unbelievable events that has ever happened. I love you and Jerry and certainly hope the end of this is a happy and satisfying ending.
Love you and Jerry………
Love your Brother JR.

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I am humbled by this story and at the same time I feel joy beyond belief. This is simply an act of God. How wonderful that this man had the courage to contact you when many would hide behind their past mistakes. The crystalline knowledge God bestowed upon this man and your family really has no descriptive words. Praise God for his divine ways. Obviously He had bigger plans for this man and Uncle Jerry 25 years ago.

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Oh my goodness! I’m so happy to hear of this reunion. I will never forget sitting in the hospital on that day.. the prayers that went up. Seeing this gave me chills … can’t wait to read the “rest of the story” . The courage it took for him to search for you all.

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Yes, dear Nancy, you were there during those horrific days. We never dreamed, did we, of such as outcome as this. Love and admire you. You and your hubby keep living the life, preaching the gospel, reaching the lost…….I believe in you.

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What a beautiful testimony. God’s love saturated every word. I am thankful that Dave has come to know the Lord. But… I am deeply touched by you and your husband’s grace. God’s love in action.

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There’s a really old song that goes, “Grace, grace. God’s grace. Grace that will pardon and cleanse within….” And the powerful words: “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Thank you for your contribution.

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It definitely takes a big man to own up to past mistakes.

I’m so grateful. And, excited to see the rest of the story unfold.

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Beautiful. Amazing. Healing. Forgiving. Loving. A journey. All of this and the love of Christ. I am awed. And blessed for you sharing this. Love to you your husband and Estey family.

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What a wonderful thing to happen. I got teary eyed reading this. I will be praying for this man and his family, I know if he stays in contact with you and Uncle Gerald he will know what a good God we serve.

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