I keep hearing that meeting You is supposed to be epic. Paul Washer likens it to being hit by a train. That leaves me a little worried. Despite all the altar calls, all the baptisms, all the concerts and rallies, I’ve never gotten that
Dante Marruffo talked about waiting – and I am. I’m glad You put him before me on Saturday. I know you were watching, but remember how he mentioned that we can only talk about what we know – our personal “testimony” about where You’ve been and what You’ve done and how we’ve known You?
Um, I don’t have one. This may be a problem.
I’ve never seen You in any explosive, earth-shattering ways. (I’ve never told anyone that.) If anything, I see You in the unalloyed joy of my friends, when we sit around shooting the breeze and talking nonsense. I see You in the stoic, never-insistent presence of my parents, who I know break their backs for me but never scream about it.
I see You in the smile of Lizz’s niece and nephew and the joy of long nights rolling 20-sided dice, in the reckless lectures on the subtleties of Starcraft II I have with Mark, in Russell’s grin when he tries to sing Mika, in my sister’s tattoo, in the words that pour out of me and the shuffling laugh John laughed when I ribbed him about that blue bandana and the brokenness I felt when my grandfather died.
But that bothers me. I’ve always been told you are beyond the world, not of it, present but different. I’ve been told that I need the Spirit to fall on before I speak, that I need to pass through water and fire to know You, that to meet the Creator is an experience that shakes life and intellect and sense and leaves nothing unchanged.
And I’ve never been shaken, never been run over by the Jesus train, never forced to the choice, the “conversion experience” Puritans talk about, never presented with a testimony.
And you know the work I do and want to do. I’m no tobacconist, no drug pusher…but an Adventist trade unionist? A writer, certainly. A scholar, of course. A politician, perhaps. Even a community organizer. But really? You know what they’ll say.
And yet, circumstances and coincidences keep pulling, until, all of a sudden, four years into college, here I am, unrecognizable to my 15-year-old, almost-baptized self. Or even my 18-year-old, wannabe-college-boy, faux-hedonistic nerdy self.
I’m not afraid, nor discouraged – the change is good. The road is good. If anything, I’m just a little confused.
What do You want from me?
Until then, I’ll keep waiting.