The following post was sent to me by Thule Kinnison who sent it to me saying: “I needed to write about Christ today.” Like Thule I find I need to write about Christ today and everyday.
I believe in God because I’ve lived most of my life as a drug addict and have now been sober for 6 1/2 years. I did not grow up in church and had no religious beliefs before going to Alcoholics Anonymous in 2003, but after my first year there, I knew a new way of life; a life created from principles of a 12 step program and a ‘Big Book’ that taught me how to be a ‘good’ servant in this world that is so far from ‘good’ a lot of the time. I didn’t meet God in a church house or bible; I met God in AA. [The Kingdom of God is near – and sneaky]
Jesus came along in my third year of sobriety. I attended a church house weekly, named Mercy Street, and added to my relationship with God there. I started to wonder ‘ who is this Jesus dude? There’s got to be more to God than just God’. So I started seeking Jesus. I went to bible study led by Sean Gladding and became mesmerized by the teaching of who Jesus was and what his mission was and how he loved.
Soon after I started the bible study, I met Shane Claiborne at Ecclesia and my heart immediately changed. Jesus became my focus and my life and for a year and a half I consumed myself with teachings about Jesus from Shane, Sean and Rebecca Gladding, Matt Russell and Chris Seay and read Word Made Flesh magazines. This Jesus that I could relate to as far as compassion, and passion for truth, and for forgiveness and sacrifice for goodness, blew me away. My passion for homeless folks amazed me. My relationship with folks who are the least of these in Houston, TX humbled me like never before. It was so ‘natural’ to be with my homeless friends and to love them, no matter what, and to feed them, to ask them their name, and smile and laugh with them, and speak truth about who I was and who I am now, to share my experience with them, and listen to theirs, and be comforted and protected in the midst, every time!
This was just the beginning of my Jesus Journey. It hasn’t always been great. For a few years I lived in self will again; fighting God, Jesus and the world, being selfish and not understanding, struggling with other addictions, and making it back to freedom again, without physically dying. My Jesus carried me, again! He teaches me how to be a part of Kingdom life, in todays world.
Ok, now about this Holy Spirit thing. My experience with this is that on several occasions I cried, uncontrollably, when I’ve encountered random homeless folks. I was told that I feeling compassion and sadness that Jesus felt for them, through the Holy Spirit in me. My heart is changed each time it happens and my faith and awareness become stronger each time. And of course, reading The Shack helped me understand the trinity and I believe that the voice I hear, whether I’m in silence or in chaos, is the Holy Spirit guiding me because there are choices and decisions I’ve made that are NOT what I’d want, but I hear and respond, and always have a deep sense of connection and freedom. That’s what the Holy Spirit means and is to me.
God the Creator is who created everything, and is bigger than anything, and yearns for me to be a part of Kingdom on earth. He is my guidance, Jesus is the truth and love, and the Holy Spirit is the voice and feeling.
What makes me a follower of Christ is the faith I have. I can’t explain why or how I have so much faith, I just do. There are no words to describe it. I’ve battled many things, including drug addiction and myself in the past 37 years, and when I think of Jesus, I’m comforted and embraced. The simplicity of who Christ is keeps me focused. My longing to be shaped in the image of Christ is bigger than anything else in my life today. My desire to know more and live what I know keeps growing. When I struggle and ask ‘WHY?’ I know I’m heard and I have faith that I’m being led closer to being whole, yet knowing that I am still broken and will be until my eternal life begins.