When I was a child, the town I grew up in was a small distance away from the city where my grandparents lived, and where, a bit later, my parents worked. So we frequently made the drive into the city, and I have many memories of the drive and of different parts of the large city. But since my family moved away before I learned to drive, I never navigated around the big city or the route between my hometown and the city. I paid very little attention to street names or cardinal directions from my vantage in the back seat of the car. (more…)
(This is edited from a comment I posted on another blog, but I thought it might interest readers here.)
Some people explain their coming to Christ in terms of a prior experience of internal emptiness or “hunger.” I felt those sensations, but I think I would never have come to Christ due to internal hunger; I was struggling, in some ways like Buddhists are told to, to accept the nothing and dissociate from the hunger. So I wrote bad poetry, was depressed, and experienced near continual suicidal ideation over a course of several years. But God in his surprising mercy met me after my post-modern belief structure self-destructed (it was a surreal time), and when, about to kill myself, I prayed on a lark more than anything else, “God, I don’t want my life any more. Jesus, do you want it?” I was very surprised to get a response, a distinct internal, “Yep.” (Not “Yes,” mind you; God chose to speak my colloquial.) It wasn’t audible, but it was as incontrovertible as it was unexpected. I remember sitting back on my bed and thinking, “I… guess… I belong… to Jesus now? WEIRD.” And yet that experience was only one step in the Lord’s redemption of my life; as a born and raised non-Christian (very hostile to Christianity), there was a lot of learning to do, which God provided in the form of a godly couple who brought me into their family. I call them my godparents, because when I came to them I really only knew that Jesus claimed to be God (I was only starting to wonder if I believed him) and that in some sense I belonged to him. Not a substantial grounding in the faith! He continued to be very gracious to me as I talked myself into most classical non-trinitarian heresies within the first year of belonging to him, and he provided loving and wise pastors to talk me out of them. There are many more ways he’s been gracious, but I think that fits the bill as to why I believe in Jesus as God. My first communion ought to be part of the story, as well as many other aspects, even starting two years earlier with running into a stranger coming down from a crack high in the middle of the night outside my residence, who told me that the Bible was true. But the kernel of the story was a very depressed college senior reaching out into the unknown one last time, not expecting a handshake to seal the deal.