Sunday, September 11, 2011

Widgets

Born Again 14: I Have Taken That Leap

Previous:  Born Again 13:  God's in the Heart-Changing Business
Navigate:  Born Again:  The Complete Works

It's time to come clean.

What I have not told you -- though you may have guessed -- is that Sharon and I had briefly been romantically involved, back when this saga began 25 years ago.  The relationship had crumbled as I realized my girlfriend did not really know the Jesus I knew, and could not really share what was most precious in my life.  Although I was still very young, I knew that hoping to convert my girlfriend was probably wishful thinking.  There were too many other emotions (and hormones) at work, let alone how it presumes on God's mercy.  The brutal fact was that I was "unequally yoked", and I was forced to break it off.

Young people don't generally recognize the damage done by the careless romances typical of that age.  Though I am gratified that God kept me sexually pure (in deed if not in thought) through that period of my life, I am not particularly proud of my adolescent conduct.  In the decades since I have offered up a few overdue apologies, and probably yet owe a few more.

Even so, Sharon's story reminds us that God's promises stand on His holy character, not our weak imitations.  It also reminds us that spiritual rebirth is not microwavable, and His mercy is not on-demand; God works on His timetable and in His way.

So now, as we draw her long and wonderful saga to a close, it's appropriate the final word should go to Sharon.  She sent me this after the fourth installment of this series, because she wanted me to be clear on a few things.  She began by quoting my blog:
"I pressed the 'Send' button with a wave of gratitude tarnished only by a hint of doubt. The gratitude sprung from my sense of great privilege at being chosen for this sacred charge, a moment toward which I'd truly done so little to contribute--indeed, perhaps not a little to impede many years ago. The doubt came from my inner pessimist. Sharon was reaching the threshold of eternity. When she at last arrived and counted the cost, would she pull back?"
You absolutely left me speechless after reading the 4th in the series ... I'd really like to say something. 
Twenty five years ago, you introduced me to a concept that was so powerful. I have never met anyone who was so truthful in his relationship with Christ and I was in awe. I truly did want what you had, but I didn't know how to obtain it. After you left my life, I befriended people who showed similar characteristic as you when it came to Christianity. I still remember the guy who gave me my very first Bible that I wrote notes on and the girl who studied Hebrew and Latin as her majors just so she could read the original text of the Bible. They were all very wholesome and godly people, but none of them had the conviction that you had. You were so forceful with your beliefs that most of the time, I did pull back, yet I still wanted what you had. But you left, leaving what you started unfinished.  
I don't blame anyone but myself in understanding where I am today. I just realized that maybe this part of my life was meant for you to finish, and you've just done that. Questioning my feelings about my relationship with Jesus is like standing on a ledge of a cliff and a voice calling out telling me to take a leap but I always said no. I have been standing on that ledge all my life. Today, I am happy to tell you that I have taken that leap. 
You have NO IDEA how free I feel. THANK YOU for returning home and completing what you started.

Yours in Christ forever,
Sharon

4 comments:

  1. This brought tears of joy! Awesome! Praise God for His faithfulness! Thank you so much for sharing this series! Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess you were the Bibleman to many, Ray. No need to "come clean"...the nature of your relationship with "Sharon" was apparent to probably most of your readers for the get go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives ALL your iniquities..." Psalm 103:2-3
    "But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
    On those who fear Him..." Psalm 103:17
    "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
    "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1

    ReplyDelete
  4. Praise the Lord! This is a great testimony for the Jailer, for Sharon, but mostly for our God and King! Glory, praise, and honor to the One on the throne forever!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Manifest Blog

    ReplyDelete

Record your thoughts on the cell wall