CARYVILLE — “By all logic I should’ve died,” said David Bruner. “There are several times that I should have died, each time worse then the last. I remember asking my mother why I didn’t die and she said that God wasn’t done with me yet.”
Bruner was born in 1952 at Lakeside Hospital in DeFuniak Springs, where he lived until the tenth grade when he moved to Caryville. He then graduated from high school in 1970 and then moved to Washington D.C. to train to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
He said it was only a few weeks after he graduated and was preparing to go work for the FBI when he was in a motorcycle accident that almost cost him his leg and cost him his dreams with the FBI.
“I almost lost my leg,” said Bruner. “It was crushed and barely hanging on by a tendon. It took 12 surgeries and three years before I finally recovered from that accident; it was then I realized it was time to leave D.C.”
In 1981 he began his work as a parole officer in Pensacola and it was 15 years later when his world was turned upside down.
“It just goes to show that you never know when your time’s up and tragedy will strike,” said Bruner. “It was 1996 and I just came back from the Bahamas and was living at my residence in Blue Pond not far from here. I was on my way to get ice cream salt when I was in an accident where my car hit a pine tree and I woke up in the hospital after being in a coma for three months.”
He said when he woke he was completely paralyzed.
“It was devastating,” said Bruner. “Here I was going from being a very capable man that was on the go all the time working on anything and everything to being absolutely useless.”
After a year of therapy he said he was finally able to tie his own shoe with his right hand and was able to be released from the hospital.
“It wasn’t long after that when my wife left me because of my inability to take care of myself,” he said. “It just got to be too much for her.”
He then moved in to a room next to his mother’s house in Caryville where she could keep an eye on him and take care of his day-to-day needs.
“I got so miserable,” he said. “I was constantly smoking and drinking and feeling sorry for myself. I had went through four failed marriages, all seemed lost and no amount of alcohol or drugs were giving me relief from the pain.”
In 2005 he said he finally became desperate for relief so he decided to go with his mother to church.
“As soon as that alter call came my behind was down that aisle and at the altar,” said Bruner. “If I had known what I was missing I would’ve done it a long time ago. Words can’t describe the peace and the joy that comes from knowing Jesus and becoming a new creature in Him.”
He said that it was shortly after becoming saved that poetry just started “pouring” out of him onto paper.
“I was working part time at a newspaper in DeFuniak Springs when I showed the religious column writer one of my poems and she put it in the paper,” he said. “My poems were getting such a reaction that she was putting them in regularly and several churches requested that they use them in their bulletins.”
The main purpose of his writings is to show that everyone has a purpose, he said.
“I try to relate these meanings to people and use it to draw them closer to God,” said Bruner. “They need to know that they have a purpose for them. These poems are for those people who need to know that as they are struggling through this mess called life there’s still a purpose for their life and that its worth the struggle.”
The one thing he has trouble conveying, he said, is the depth of gratitude he has for Christ.
“Most of my life has been pain and misery and if I wasn’t experiencing pain and misery I was inflicting pain and misery on others,” he said. “Now through Jesus I’ve been elated and set free.”
For all the bad that has happened in his life, he said he would not change the past if he could.
“I was a hardheaded a stubborn man that never listened to no body,” said Bruner. “If it hadn’t been for what happened I don’t think I would’ve ever changed and I’d still be the miserable person I was before I met Christ.”
Bruner said if it wasn’t for his ever-praying mother, Callie “Maveen” Burner, he would’ve never known the direction to go.
“He was one of my four boys and I am very proud of every one of them,” she said. “When he was at West Florida Hospital there was a lady that would come in every day to pray for him, everyone at West Florida Hospital was praying for him, my family from Milton was praying for him, we had had prayers going out all over the United States.”
She said that even when the worst was over and he was able to wake from his coma he was “worse then a new born baby.”
“It was like having a 200 pound baby because he couldn’t do anything for himself,” she said. “That’s the power of prayer.”
She said the accident had left him with a partial lung and made him prone to catching pneumonia. In 2005 he came down with double pneumonia and went into cardiac arrest.
“They found his main artery to his heart was completely blocked and his chances of survival was less than 50/50,” she said. “We all gathered again in prayer and three days later he was able to come home after stints were successfully put in. Now he’s a Discipleship Trainer, Youth Leader and a member of the choir; the Lord answers prayers.”
Bruner said that he didn’t have full use of his left hand but everything else was working properly and he’s continuing to write in his attempt to reach more people to Christ. He said he also managed to find a female best friend and potential wife.
“She has been a strong and positive force in my life and God willing she’ll become my wife,” he said. “This will be my fifth wife, but my first marriage in Christ.”
A couple poems by David Bruner:
by David Bruner
Going down that long road, its dark and dreary.
Been going so long, stressed, tired and weary.
Drank, did some drugs and bar hopped with the best,
Never took time for Jesus, to kick back and rest.
Been in that dark place so very long.
Was hard to convince me I was in the wrong.
Was convinced that there was this life, nothing more.
No time for Jesus, just try and I’ll show you the door.
Convinced to was to just go into eternal sleep,
Somehow the Spirit slowly into my mind did creep.
It brought me to my knees and broke my heart,
Made me realize, I was going to Hell, I had a good start.
Go to church, sitting there, I could hardly wait,
Invitation time, down the aisle like a bull out of the gate.
My life to my savior, I committed my soul,
I gave Him my all, mind, body, being, the whole.
The peace that came and washed over me,
Opened my eyes, now I can plainly see.
The road I was on, seems it was long ago,
The road is for and to Jesus, I want you all to know.
I look back and think about myself, foolish and dumb,
How God kept me alive many times as I tried to succumb.
I now realize for everything there’s a purpose to be had,
He’ll take the meanest old sinner and make good from the bad.
By David Bruner
Lord knows how hard I’ve tried.
Lord knows how hard I’ve cried.
My family, constantly heavy on my mind,
My family, their blessings at times, hard to find.
My family and my friends, the ones lost,
I’ll go to battle, no matter the cost.
Why dear Lord, they refuse to see,
It’s so simple and it’s so free.
Jesus Christ came and paid the cost.
He came, He died, so none have to be lost.
Give Him your commitment of faithful love.
Be assured of a dwelling place in Heaven above.
Oh Lord, I constantly ask why?
We are so worthless, for us, to die?
People I know are dying to know,
They lived their lives, now dead, nothing to show.
Could have lived building eternal treasure,
Now dead and gone, no scale that measures.
Why, dear Lord, why, why, why?
Souls are doomed and out to You, no cry.
They just continue as nothing is wrong.
People wonder around, no place to belong.
Lord, I pray, open peoples’ eyes,
To the evil one and all his lies.