Though I Lived, I’d Never Been Alive

Let me pick up the story by filling in some details some as it pertains to the spring of 2002. Sara and I had split around the first of the year but she is still hanging out with me everyday after school, It was her senior year. I was working part time and trying to get my work shown in the Downtown art community with little luck.( I painted and worked in mixed media, If I had any of the work from that time you would see all of these questions I was asking about the meaning of life and about God and of God. It was really dark stuff.) During that Spring I watched Sara start what would end a year or so later as a full blown transformation from Lutheran suburban privileged kid to counter culture hippie chick. Needless to say, as a hardcore punk rock kid, hippies and their worldview very diametrically opposed to the anger, rage infused world that I lived in. She was also falling in love with a friend of a friend who was residing two states away. I watched all of this that spring as if it was all taking place in slow motion. Because I was trying to make her God every painful nanosecond was experienced by myself in all of it’s humiliating brilliance.

So I spent the whole spring trying to get Sara to get back together with me because I wanted to make her my everything. It was so bad that I would get so worked up and anxious inside when I was around her or thinking about what I wanted of her that I used to make myself throw up to release the tension. I was in a sad place. As her high school graduation approached she begin making plans to have the guy she was falling for come down to visit and started to plan me out of her summer. This is so much of why I was going to Grace Bible Church in the evenings that late spring and early summer. I just wanted to be in the same room with her and talk to her. I wanted to give her a chance to come to her senses and see what a catch I was. But God had other plans.

I walked into Gilland middle school cafeteria to see Sara after the service and to be entertained by the pastor. I got neither; Sara didn’t show and Walter, the pastor, was on vacation. What I got was a young kid, named Travis Buchannan preaching out of Isaiah 6. His sermon was entitled, “the Otherness of God.”

I remember it being really cold and that Ethan Rode was sitting next to me in Roadrunner Chapel as Travis unpacked the text. He said that if God was one end of the cafeteria and Satan and Hitler were on the other where in between where you. In the middle, right? Right, I though, I am in the middle somewhere. He went on to say that according to God’s word my head was in Hitler’s lap. I had never heard that before and agreed but that day it was like something inside me that had been keeping me from seeing the truth of that was lifted. I was for the first time in my life aware that God was angry with me, that my sin was an offense to his otherness and his justice would not allow him to allow me into his presence. As I sat there as Travis talked about the fact that Jesus was the one on the throne in Isaiah 6,I prayed that I’m not one of your kids lord I want to be.

I walked out and sat down on the curb in the parking lot, letting the Arizona sun warm me, and though to myself, “I didn’t feel any different.” But I was. The bible Started to make sense as I read it. I started to desire God in a way I had never before.

After that I had one more big knock down drag out fight with Sara and then by God’s Grace she left for to spend most of the summer in Colorado. I plugged into a small group which was lead by one of the most loving and caring men I have know. He, along with the group walked with me and led me to the Word to find peace. With her gone and out of communicate with me I was able to focus on the lord. To add grace to grace God lead my Best friend, Ethan, to Grace that same summer with me. You see God had saved hi just little before me that spring and now he was also leading him away from the dead orthodoxy toward an authentic expression of God’s people. I lost the girl but gained the Lord. Jesus is so kind and good and right. He works all things for my good and loves me not based on anything I bring him but simply because He does. I praise God for that awful spring and wonderful summer. He saved me from myself and all of my foolishness. I also praise him for how he has kept me these seven years in himself and if he allows me breathe, seven more years.

For those of you who are reading this who are without Christ, who do not know him, there is hope for you like a cut down tree. You may know all about him, he may haunt your thoughts and dreams and days, you may know nothing of this Jesus, and He may be as strange and foreign to you as the streets of Cairo are to me. But know this, that He made you and He made you for a purpose; to glorify him and enjoy him forever. But also know that you have this problem and it’s the fact that you can’t do good. Sure you do good things sometimes but you are not good. You’ve committed evil acts against others and most importantly against God; Jesus himself. Also know that God is angry with you for your evil. His justice condemns you to hell. Hell is real, Hell is conscious and Hell is forever. Most importantly know that Jesus took the anger of God against you for your sin on himself at the cross so that you could know God and escape hell and enjoy God forever. I know in light of this you problem have a million objections to this entering your mind. I did too. In light of that I will close with a lyric form anther song I enjoy. Heed them and turn to Jesus.

“You strike the match… why not be utterly changed to fire? To sacrifice the shadow and the mist of a brief life you never much liked? So if you’d care to come along, we’re gonna curb all our never-ending, clever complaining, As who’s ever heard of a singer criticized by his song? We hunger, though all that we eat brings us little relief, We don’t know quite what else to do; We have all our beliefs, but we don’t want our beliefs… God of Peace, we want You.”

  1. What a great, great testimony. Thanks for being honest.

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