This is for all the people who think I've lost my mind in the past year, which seems to be a fair number, lol. The risk of reinforcing that opinion here is pretty high, but I'll share anyway ~:-)
One year ago today, I became a living testimony to the parable of the lost sheep that Jesus told in Luke 15. It was the road trip that changed my life, driving alone down the Eastern Shore on a warm, sunny, crystal-clear day to meet up with my son, whom I hadn't seen in several months, in Norfolk, just minding my own business. I'd come out of a long winter of feeling pretty beat up and betrayed by some close friends who knew me well and that hurt, but I was mostly past that, or at least as much as you can be, and feeling content this day.
Somewhere between Annapolis and Ocean City everything changed. Two hours later, on the beach in OC just north of the Boardwalk, Jesus left the ninety-nine and came to rescue long-lost me. For real. It was an unmistakable, almost indescribable, overwhelming feeling to be in the presence of God, pure love, so suddenly and unexpectedly. And I know that's what it was. Even as I write this I can feel it as clearly now as I did that afternoon. Jesus called my name and I came, and He embraced me so gently, forgave me so so clearly, and carried me home. Just like that. My whole world flipped upside down and big pieces fell soundly into place. I could feel it deep down in the core of my being. No exaggeration or metaphor; as strange as it sounds, it happened.
“I stand at the door and knock.
If you hear my voice and open the door,
I will come in,
and we will share a meal together as friends."
Who knew that it was actually that simple.
I wish I could say that was the end, but it was really the beginning of the long and difficult process of peeling back the encrusted layers of years and years and years to get to the truth. Truth. The times in which we live do a good job of convincing us, especially the more educated among us, that God's not important as long as you're "a good person," however and by whomever that is determined. No.
There's no wall you won't kick down
Lie you won't tear down
Coming after me.
What I've learned in the past year is that sometimes you can be so far gone that you yourself don't even realize it until you get a sip of the living water -- the true life-saving and life-giving power of Jesus Christ, the lamb of the living God -- that literally rejuvenates and transforms you from the inside out, satisfying a thirst you didn't even know you had, wanted, or needed.
I couldn't earn it.
I don't deserve it.
Yet you give yourself away.
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.
Yeah, it's been painful at times, like getting squeezed through a birth canal, but worth it. The major demolition and excavation took almost 7 months before the rebuilding could begin because I'm that stubborn, as some of you know. I still have a long way to go, but this I know with absolute certainty:
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:6)
Don't glide over that; weigh each of those words. Turns out, it matters.
Enjoy the song I hope it touches somebody the way it touches me.