In one of Sufjan Steven’s greatest songs (Casimir Pulaski Day), he sings a haunting line admitting “I was crying in the bathroom.” Well, I did that today.
This week, I’ve had the thrill of leading worship at the WCA’s Transformation Intensive conference. In many ways, it’s been an un-conference….unplugged, understated, and all about the content. I couldn’t love it more.
The first teacher was Dallas Willard, one of my heroes. He gave a lecture about transformation that shook me to my core and reminded me again why the invitation of Jesus really is the greatest news on earth. (I’ll post the notes on my blog soon).
But this morning, I got to nervously share with him the 60 second version of my story: “Dallas, I got cynical in college and my faith stopped working for me. Christianity as “how to go to Heaven some day” was no longer compelling and I was thinking about leaving the whole thing. But then someone recommended your book, The Divine Conspiracy, and while reading chapter 2, I was born again again.”
He got a little embarrassed and looked down, but I kept going. “Dallas, I’ve never met you, but you’ve been one of the primary voices for why I’m a Christian…and why I still want to be. Thank you.” He sheepishly said thanks and I shuffled out the room.
But as I walked down the hall, I could feel something building inside me…and so I walked over to the downstairs bathroom, sat back by the empty showers, and bawled my eyes out.
I cried because I almost missed out on LIFE to the full.
I cried because I was so thankful that someone like Dallas could show the gospel to be as beautiful as it really is – when all I could see was ugliness.
I cried out of thankfulness that God didn’t leave me to wallow in my cynicism, but rescued me.
If you know me, you know how rare this kind of thing is. My Scandinavian male ability to bury my emotions is usually spectacular. But today, I’m just so thankful to be a part of such a great Story: getting to join God in what God is doing to restore all things.
“When we are invited into life in Christ Jesus, we are offered the
greatest opportunity of our lives – the opportunity of a vivid companionship
with Him, in which we will learn to be like Him and live as He lived.”