He was maybe 26. He looked like he’d been through hell and learned to smile at the smoke. His name was Wayne and he saved me from a heap of trouble.
When I got in his car, instantly we found a connection. Though we’d never met, we had a lot in common. It’s something neither one of us addressed, but we both knew the other had lived life wrongly. We smiled… And the conversation went deep as we started on the trek of getting me back to safety.
He asked me if I was really a Christian. He went even deeper and reminded me that “going to a Christian college is a good smoke screen, but are you actually a Christian? New Testament, or what?”
I stepped out on a very sketchy ledge and replied with, “Yes, I am. But… you’re not.”
Instead of sardonic laughter and the “Yeah Baby, but I’ll take you for the ride of your life” answer I expected, his face went grim.
“Cassie… I’ll always tell my mom I love her, but I can’t believe in God. Good for you, but… I grew up in the EMT world. What god can I trust when I’ve stared at death all my life?”
*ooooooh Baby, you asked the wrong chick that rhetorical question.*
I gave this poor unsuspecting man the thirty second lowdown. 3 brain surgeries, half a brain left, pacemaker implant, uncontrollable seizures not withstanding and doctors that say there’s nothing left to be done.
Do I know Death? Heck yes.
Do I still believe in God? How can I not?
Wayne just stared at me. It took all my might not to break the thought process and be a smart alek. (There is a God who does miracles. That was proof.) He mumbled something about if I “believe in God nothing bad will happen” to me. I about puked at that thought. Told him so. He wasn’t amused. I didn’t care.
“Wayne. The verse you’re misquoting talked about how God will work all things for good to those who love him and for those called according to HIS purpose. Asking God to overlook my disobedience and give me a rose-garden when I’ve been an idiot is completely against everything moral, physical and spiritual…
Do I believe in forgiveness? Yes. Do I believe in sovereignty? Absolutely. Do I believe in Grace? Hallelujah. But don’t think I make the moves I make without knowing my worldly wisdom comes with a price. Sometimes that price is the silence of God in my life. Our purposes don’t always agree. On the days I don’t surrender… God let’s me play god for a day and I pay for it.”
Wayne smiled a smile I’ll never forget, said some choice words, sighed and gave me a high-five.
“You really are a Bible teacher (I am? Where’d he get that?) … Thanks for ruining my safety net. Keep smiling. It was good meeting you. No one’s as crazy as you and still a Christian. I like you.”
I’ve never been filled with so much despair and hope for a person at the same time like that.