Arise In Newness of Life

Atheist. Drunk. Chain-smoking. One profanity-laced tirade of blasphemy after another. This was a friend of mine… I think I`ll call him James, so as not to violate his confidence or trust.

This was a man utterly enraged at his creator… whether it was forwarding the latest Internet witticism of hard-line unbelief, or crassly demanding an answer to any number of supposed contradictions within the Bible.

Nevertheless, I heard his challenges with a patient ear and rebuked his irrational anger with gentle inquiries into the more serious corollaries of his skepticism.

Slowly and with utmost care… I wrapped my arms around his chest until he could not breathe, my legs around his waist until he could not walk.

Crippled… with a broken back, collapsed lungs, and severed head. I pulled him down into the oceanic depth of the Abyss. I forced his blinded eyes to behold the despair that he would seem to desire. I watched him gasp for air in a vacuum of meaningless.

With a frail arm, he flailed out in one final futile gesture. The rest, was silence.

Post tenebras Lux, after the Darkness, Light.

The tearing of the plow, sowing the field with bitter tears… with time and by GOD`s Grace, a seed of faith takes hold in good soil.

“Matthew,” he says to me, “I am your brother in Christ.”

A radical change is evident, the Spirit`s work is made manifest in great abundance.

Lifelong addictions and afflictions fall away: “I no longer desire the poisons I`ve been putting in my body for the last twenty years.”

Dedication and conviction rise up: “I have no interest in pursuing loveless and meaningless relationships, but I will await the woman that GOD would have me marry.”

A call to rise and serve flowers forth… even so, I counsel him to have patience, to sit at the feet of wiser and older men and to be discipled. He yearns to share the precious gift of Salvation with those he loves, but I urge caution. There is still so much for him to learn.

Thankfully… he heeds this counsel, and I put him in contact with a local assembly in his area.

I long to be near, to guide him in the beginning of this walk… but it must be as it may. The advances of our technological age allow me to stay close to him in word, even as we are separated in presence by the better part of a continent.

The providence of our LORD abides, and He shall surely keep what is His. It is to this, that I hinge all my hopes.

Soli Deo Gloria, and Amen.

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