Something Was Wrong

Something Was Wrong
(The Richard Britt Story)

Jesus Did It!

 By: Richard Britt


I'm sure my father and mother were happy on that cold winter day, February 11, 1944; the day God filled my lungs with fresh clean air, and I became a living creature, and began to breathe for the first time. I can only visualize my grandfather and grandmother proudly announcing that another third generation Christian Scientist was now part of the family clan (two uncles and four aunts), and would begin my journey following in the path and the family tradition that was rooted in this metaphysical world, as described by the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy (more about that later).  I was the third son of my father's blood line; my younger brother would become the last of four sons and would begin his life, three years later.  My two other brothers were two and four years older respectfully. From the hospital, I came home and started my life living in a two bedroom house that was already being renovated to accommodate a larger family.


World War II was intensifying, the atom bomb was being developed, the depression was coming to an end, and the baby boom generation was just one year away when I made my debut.  I have no recollection and can only imagine that first year, the challenges that my father and mother were facing raising a four-year-old, two-year-old, and now a newborn. There must have been plenty to do to keep my mother busy, washing, cleaning, cooking, and taking care of two toddlers and a baby. What I do remember a few years later, and the tradition never stopped, we had three complete meals a day and the evening course always included a meat, three vegetables, bread and dessert; and nothing, and I mean nothing, on the table would be left.  If you wanted second's, you had to eat and clean your plate before your brother got the last helping of mashed potatoes, or the last piece of chicken!  My mother was an unbelievable cook, and could not only imitate a recipe after eating it only one time, but could improve on it dramatically.  While my mother spent every minute caring for three infants, my father went to work every day before dawn, and would return home after dark.  The only family vehicle was a three-wheeled 'Cushman' motor scooter. At the age of two, I remember riding in a three foot square box that was mounted on the front of this vehicle. I would be standing beside my two older brothers, the wind blowing my hair and into my eyes, laughing with joy, while struggling to see where we were going; looking, just over the top of the metal box.


In 1947, my father began his entrepreneurial career and started his own plumbing and heating business in Memphis, Tennessee.  At the age of three, I remember with vivid memory my father coming home driving a brand new shiny truck, and watching a man paint my father's name and telephone number on the door panel for his business. My mother came home from the hospital, that same year, and had something they called my new baby brother.  As to my recollection, I had my own agenda, being very independent, and was not particularly impressed of the new arrival. I also remember after working all day, my father coming home and before going to bed, would spend a little time on the shop and garage project under construction in the back yard, and several room additions he was adding on to our house. There's nothing my father couldn't build, fix or accomplish with his hands, probably due to the fact, he was the first born, taken out of school in the eighth grade, to help raise his brothers and sisters during the great depression. I guess you could say that my father had to grow up very fast taking on that responsibility at the age of fourteen.  Can you imagine forfeiting your teenage years; missing out on all the fun you're supposed to have, raising younger brothers and sisters? 


My early childhood memories include running to the street with a nickel in my hand when I heard the ice cream and popsicle man ringing their bell, playing with our dog (he was black and his name was pepper) before I painted him blue to match Paul Bunion's 'Old Blue' (a blue bull) that I saw and thought was neat in the story book, chasing our big white duck around the back yard and laughing when she made funny quacking sounds from her relentless moving yellow bill (her name was Polly); avoiding at all cost that crazy mean old goat that wanted to butt me when I was not looking (he didn't have a name, he was just mean), and trying to talk and carry on a conversation with our clipped wing, split tongue crow who walked around the back yard and would sputter something that sounded like 'my name is smoky'. I was not a happy camper when my father found out that I had poured five pounds of black pepper into the floor furnace, and all the windows had to be opened during a snow storm!   You should have been there when my father looked at the handles on the wheel barrel that had been cut off, modified, and shortened to fit my younger brother's arms because he could not push this contraption without a shorter modification!  


It was amazing to see my older brother take a running start off the top of the garage with an umbrella in hand, attempting a soft landing that turned out to be a total disaster!  That same brother entertained us by performing many unsuccessful attempted stunts and feats that to this day cannot be explained or duplicated!  He had the family car in a position that any stunt driver would be proud of, where two wheels were on the ground, and the other two wheels were half way up on the side of the same garage, where he attempted his earlier jump flight!   I suppose I got in the habit of waking up every morning before daylight, so I wouldn't miss out on all the excitement that I knew was going to follow.  Yes, there was excitement in the air every day; I never knew what was going to happen; I just waited long enough for my oldest brother to get up, and shortly thereafter the show would begin  You can only imagine there was never a dull moment with four boys growing up around this family.


School began in the fall of 1950, and I remember the first day of school; there must have been more than twenty five strangers in our class; but soon I met a friend named Boots.  You have to like someone with a name like that, and we became close friends. I remember in 1951, my father brought home a big new box, and when he opened it up, the funny thing had a glass window, and when you turned it on, you could see people talking inside the box. Sometimes you could see Buffalo Bob, Howdy Doody, the clown Clarabell, Roy Rogers, Trigger, Hopalong Cassidy, the Lone Ranger mask man and his side kick, Tonto.  I remember the day just sitting, waiting, and watching that peacock on the screen with great anticipation, when NBC aired the first episode of Superman.  In 1952, we were now moving up in society, and became a two car family with the addition of a new car, a four door Plymouth.   In 1956, I remember watching a weird freak that wore pink pants to school, and graduated with my first cousins, being on the Ted Mac Show, and my cousins and I were sitting around the floor laughing at him, his name was Elvis.  In 1959, I was in school class when it was announced that Buddy Holly had died in a plane crash.


The year 1959 marked a major milestone in my life, (age 15).  I remember watching my two older brothers competing for the family car every Friday and Saturday night, the light bulb came on, and I knew that in one year, I also would have to compete and there was only two nights each weekend, and something had to change before I reached the age of 16.  Having entrepreneurial blood in my veins, I had saved enough money to buy a 1950 black Ford sedan, ($200.00).  Not being old enough to drive, I let my older brother that was closest to me have access to my new car, allowing my oldest brother to have exclusive access to the family car every Friday and Saturday night.  My brother and I were very close, and we started an early morning paper route together; we would get up at four o'clock every morning; he would drive me to my route, go and throw his route, and come back when he finished his route. At sixteen I got my drivers license, and I continued to share my car with my brother.  I met and started to date my high school sweetheart, and best friend, in 1960, and we have enjoyed each other (most of the time) for more than forty two years, (more about this later).


My fianc'e and future wife graduated the year before me, and was working full time as a file clerk, while I was finishing my senior year at high school.  I continued to work my paper route, and we both saved almost all our income in preparation for our future.  I gave my car to my brother when he got married; and in 1963, my fianc'e and I took enough cash that we had saved together and bought a new Pontiac. This is the year that I would face the most devastating time of my young life.  Shortly after my brother's marriage, he became very ill.  No one knew what was wrong, but as we were taught in Christian Science; this error (condition), as it was called, was only a false belief (a trial), was not real, had no power, would disappear and be healed if one's faith were strong enough; just by knowing the truth (as taught by Mary Baker Eddy).  I had witnessed healings for almost eighteen years, and experienced healing myself, and had no doubt that God was real, and would intervene if our faith was strong enough.  My brother's condition got worse, and for the first time in my life, a family member was hospitalized.  This situation had never come up before, in fact, a doctor's care had never been necessary for any family member, for pain, sickness, or injury, before this incident.  I'll never forget receiving a telephone call from my uncle that night, while working at the Sky View Drive End Theater, the message was very clear; go home, something is wrong! 


Although my uncle never told me what had happened during that telephone call, I felt pain and agony in my heart. Immediately leaving the drive end, I  remember driving home, with tears rolling down my face, knowing that I had lost my brother, my best friend, and not sure how to handle my emotions.  While growing up, we all experienced heart aches, disappointments, and failures, but when you are faced with the death of your closest friend, a brother, a loved one, someone that is very close, at such an early age, you know that something is very wrong.  I believe one of the hardest things that I have been faced with in life, was the morning I went alone to my brother's empty apartment, to get his personal belongings, his socks and shoes, his shirts, his underwear; something was wrong!   It would be many years later before God would rescue me from Christian Science and the deception of Satan.  My mother was never the same after my brother died, she never forgave herself for the death of her second son, and I remember the pain, torment, agony, and guilt she went through for another ten years, before she died at the age of forty-nine.


My brother left behind one of the kindest, sweetest and precious widows you'll ever meet, and a newborn baby that would never know his daddy. My nephew had more love in his heart and never had an enemy during his life.  He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at an early age, and was not supposed to live beyond his teenage years.  He knew, loved, and served the Lord with all his heart; rarely if ever complained about his condition, and was inspirational to many friends while on this earth. He graduated from high school, and went on to college. I remember receiving a telephone call from his mother; telling me that he had moved on to be with the Lord, and I felt in my heart again, something was wrong.  I remember my sister-in-law sharing with me how independent my nephew was; and how honored I am that she allowed her son to fulfill a dream of living alone, independently in his own apartment, before he passed away.  If we all could have the heart and attitude that my nephew had, what a great world this would be!  I know he is no longer suffering, and is enjoying Heaven, and can't wait to see him again, someday!  


The year following my brother's death, I graduated from high school, and began working full time as a butcher in a grocery store.  My fianc'e and I continued to work and save for another two years, and in June of 1964, we were married.  Our plan proved successful, and our savings paid off, we were able to buy and begin to make notes on a small three bedroom home, enjoy the luxury of having two cars, able to purchase with cash our new furniture, and still had some savings in the bank.  Life seemed so good, (I thought), I  joined a golf country club, began to play golf, spend some time with photography and spending time in the dark room, developing black and white pictures.


In 1966, my son was born, and became a fourth generation Christian Scientist.  I felt something inside was tugging at me, but didn't know what it was.  I felt something was missing in my life, so I began to isolate myself from my family, trying to find happiness in something to compensate for the hurt and pain inside.  Selfishly, I spent every moment of spare time playing golf, neglecting my wife and my son and their needs. If it were not for God, and a very loving wife, my marriage would never have lasted!  These were some trying times, but the worst was just beginning.  Over the next few years, we continued to go to church, but the Christian Science doctrine was becoming more cold and abstract.  I remember taking Richard Jr. to a Christian Science practitioner (someone who was supposed to be able to heal), when he could hardly breathe.  I remember the look on the face of this woman; she was horrified when she saw the condition of my son.  Her faith was a far cry of what I thought it should have been, and this was the first outward indication that something was wrong with Christian Science.


The following day, we took our son to the doctor, and he was diagnosed with asthma. He was given medication, and tests were run to determine what he was allergic to.   I knew that I was not practicing good Christian Science doctrine, but wanted to do what was right for my son.  Something was still pulling at me on the inside.  One day in 1969, while working beside a co-worker at the grocery store, this individual shared with me that he had started taking some computing programming courses.  Not knowing what was involved and what the opportunities were, I inquired about this new field and became very interested. 


After inquiring, I decided to start planning for a new career, and enrolled with Electronic Computer Programming Institute.  The curriculum included three programming languages, as well as hands on experience with all the equipment in a data processing environment.  The training would last about eighteen months, two nights a week. I was very committed and spent extra time studying and preparing for my future.  I completed all my required assignments, and had an obsession to do more!  I thought this was the answer that would fill that void I was feeling.  I'll never forget that Thursday night during class, the devastating news that was announced.  The director that was responsible to help graduates find work informed the class that the market was saturated, and would be impossible to find work.  He said that more than six hundred graduates were looking for work, and felt responsible to inform us of this situation. 


I could not believe what I was hearing, this must be a mistake.  After all, I had spent the last year and half preparing, going the extra mile, and doing everything I was supposed to and a little bit more, and now this!  I was not going to take this lying down, and decided to take immediate action.  The next day, Friday, I requested a day off from my employer, and went downtown, seeking employment in the computer programming field.  I remember talking to the lady in personnel department of a savings and loan company, and she confirmed the bad news that I had heard the night before; they were not taking any more applications at that time. I told her that I understood, but only wanted to meet with the programming manager a few minutes.  This request was granted, and what took place in the next few minutes had to be nothing more than divine intervention.


The programming manager told me again that there were no opportunities at this time for employment, but he would give me an opportunity to introduce myself.  Somehow in a few moments, I shared with him how much it would mean to me to have an opportunity to become a computer programmer, and how hard I had prepared for this new career.  I told him that the night before, our class was informed regarding the saturation of programmers in the market, but knew in my heart that if someone would give me a chance, that I could make a positive contribution.  Before I said another word, I found myself sitting in front of the Vice President of operations.  Although it was not in the budget, they were going to give me an opportunity to become a computer programmer.


Only God knows the feeling I felt in my heart, overcoming insurmountable odds against my impossible situation, and yet He granted and gave me a way out, even though I really didn't deserve it.  I still was neglecting my family responsibilities, selfishly seeking something that would satisfy me.  The focus was on me, not my wife or son.  The only explanation I can give why God was allowing me to be in favor, is that He loves you no matter what, He knows your heart, and He will always make a way that will lead you to Him.  God knows that in time, everything has its season, and God is very patient.


My new career was consuming me and taking all my time, and I found myself working six, and sometimes seven days a week.  Obviously, this was not in the best interest for my wife and son. I knew my wife and son loved me, but things were not right, and our marriage relationship was suffering because of my ignorant and selfish attitude.  I allowed it to escalate to the point of possible separation, or maybe divorce.  We had a serious discussion, and wanted to try to change our relationship for the better.  Shortly thereafter, I accepted a better programming position and we moved to Laurel, MD in 1972.  Accepting a new job, made it very difficult to spend quality time with the family, and again, I found myself again devoted to the wrong thing, my job and not my family.  My priorities were all out of order, and I had no foundation or reference to know why.  After all, my father worked all the time, my mother had the responsibilities to raise the children, and I was just carrying on a family tradition.  I'm not making excuses for my behavior, but being honest.  It would be more than ten years later before God intervened and changed my life. 


My programming career came to an abrupt halt in 1981.  For ten years, I was blessed with substantial salary increases, and was earning more that ten times as much as I was when I was a butcher at the grocery store.  I had become a vice president and Data Processing Manager of the largest Savings and Loan in the country, a billion dollar corporation, and had a large staff of programming personnel that included two programmers that had advanced college degrees.  The record showed that I had met all budget requirements and company objectives ahead of schedule, year after year.  But, in 1981 a new personnel director, not knowing or caring about my accomplishments, thought maybe I might be overvalued and overpaid due to the fact, I didn't have a college degree.  He had someone else in mind that had a college degree, and I was fired!


The hurt and humiliation was excruciating, and something was wrong again.  Something was pulling at me, trying to get my attention.  I went into depression, and was not sure what to do.  Nothing was going right in my life, and I felt as if I had been betrayed.  Something had to give!


Being totally devastated, I made the decision to leave the computer field, change direction and pursue something completely different.  I didn't trust anyone, so I decided to go into business for myself.  I entered the insurance field with a large financial marketing company that allows me to build my own company.  My wife was perplexed to say the least; actually she thought I had lost my mind!  First a butcher, next a computer nerd, and now an insurance agent?  My wife reached down deep, and somehow with God's help, she made a decision that only true love, dedication, and sacrifice could make.  She supported me regardless of the circumstances, and I will forever be grateful to her.


My new career did not come easy; I struggled with personal growth challenges that were necessary to be successful in the field of marketing.  God knew what I needed, and put me in a position where if I was going to be successful, I would have to change, and begin to focus on others instead of myself.  This revelation was not being revealed at the time, but God knew what I needed!  He also knew I was going to be a challenge, but God is patient, and He gave my wife a triple portion, she needed all the help she could get!


I worked very hard to build an organization, and it was not easy.  God was allowing me to face difficulties that would eventually change my life completely.  During this time, God brought people into my life, (people that I hired for my new company), that would witness to me and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was His plan from the beginning.  Finally, God was reaching out to me, a lost soul that was heading for eternal hell.  God was making a way for me, to become part of His family.  After being witnessed to several times, my wife and I were invited to Christian Movie Theater that was showing a movie on the end times.  The Holy Sprit convicted me, and I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I denounced Christian Science, and began worshiping at a local church.  For almost a year, we were faithful with our church attendance, but my business was not being blessed.  I still felt something was wrong. I went through a bitter dispute with one of the leaders of the organization, and decided to leave.


Again, I'm facing a brick wall.  In retrospect, I know now what God wanted me to do.  He wanted me to depend on Him and Him alone. I didn't understand at the time, that God allows us to fail, experience pain, agony, and disappointments, until we yield, and lean on Him for everything.  God allowed me with my stubborn nature to wander from one disappointment to another, for another twelve years before He rescued me.  He kept my wife faithful, and she continued to pray for me and my soul.


I remember the day God tried to get my attention when He allowed my car traveling at seventy miles per hour, to spin out of control and perform a one eighty, and perfectly come to a safe stop during a hail storm.  The car was damaged, but not a scratch was on me.  I know now, that God sent His angels down to protect me.  He wants my attention, but I was still resisting.  Then, He tried to get my attention by allowing the following incident to occur.  My boss was visiting one of his out of town offices, and sent me to the airport to pick up a package that was in my name.  I went to the airport, picked the package up, and returned to the office, only to find out that he had shipped illegal drugs across state lines, and had me go a pick them up. I was livid, but this finally got my attention.  I left his organization, and found employment in the financial and estate planning field. 


God is so good, and will always make a way for you.  I was headed for an appointment with a potential client, and went early that day, because I wasn't sure where it was.  Being more than two hours early, I drove up to the address only to find an elderly lady sitting in the yard, drinking a cup of coffee.  We made eye contact, and we waved to each other.  I stopped and introduced myself, and explained to her that I was not sure where she lived, and knew that our appointment was later that morning.  She advised me that since I was already there, to come on in and have a cup of coffee.  She introduced herself and told me she was a widow and that her husband had passed away several years earlier.  While we were visiting she began talking about the Lord.  The only way I can describe what happened over the next several hours, has to be a Divine intervention.  Something came over me that made me totally receptive to everything she was sharing with me.  It was if I had no control of the situation, and someone else was directing the conversation.  She finally invited me to a Friday night district church service that evening, and without hesitation, I accepted.  I believe the Holy Spirit took control of my life, and was intervening on my behalf.  The reason I believe this was the Holy Spirit, is the fact that I had been running and avoiding God for more than ten years.  My wife would ask me to go with her to church for years, and I would decline every time. 


I went to church that Friday night, and my life has not been the same since.  I rededicated my life to the Lord, was baptized again, and now living for the Lord faithfully. I will testify that each day brings an opportunity to grow stronger in your walk with God, and sometimes we fail, and fall short.  But God never fails us, and He will always make a way out of a negative situation, no matter how bad it may seem, if we submit and yield to His correction.  


It never dawned on me that I was isolating myself, looking for pleasure that would cover up the hurt that was on the inside of me.  Something was wrong, and I didn't know what it was.  It is only now, almost forty years later, that I can reflect back, and see how hurt I must have been; how lost I was; that was leading to my selfish and destructive ways. I didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's what was wrong!  Today, I do have a personal relationship with Jesus, and I'm sorry for many things that I have been guilty of, and thank God for forgiving me of all my sins.  Jesus has shown me the only way to overcome past transgressions, and has given me a new life to enjoy with my loving spouse, who never gave up on me, and endured more than anyone should have to. I will always be indebted, and thank God for allowing us to become husband and wife.


I pray right now for the person that is reading this personal testimony; if something feels wrong or if you know someone who is hurting, go and share with them; that there is a Savior that can and will take their pain and agony away, and give them joy in their heart.  His name is Jesus, and he wants to be your best friend!  He will take whatever is wrong, and make it right!  Thank God for the men and women that were bold enough to take the time and share with me the gospel of Jesus Christ!  Most of all, thank God for sending His Son that took the sins of the world upon Himself, which include all my sins, and paid the price for me, so I can enjoy eternal life forever!  This is a free gift, and you can do nothing to earn it, all you need to do is ask Jesus to come into your heart, and turn away from your sins.


God bless you.  

Richard Britt



"And this gospel of the kingdom [Jesus died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).

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Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.

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