If you did not read yesterday's post, I encourage you to do so. In that post, I mentioned Luther's statement,
"If only I knew He wasn't angry with me."
I can relate. I was raised in a wonderful home. Our family was the model family. All the children were literally straight "A" students. My father was very successful. My mother was so thoughtful and hard working that I to this day stand in awe of her love. But, then, for no reason that my 15-year-old mind could understand, it all collapsed.
One day, I came home and my older sister, who was married by this time, was there at our house. She looked at me and asked me to get in the car. She said I had to go over to her house. I complied. After we arrived at her house, she sat me down on her couch and said the following words, "Mom and Dad are getting a divorce."
It was as if the floor disappeared from under my feet. I still, it is seared in my conscience, can feel the sense that everything was spinning around me. Everything became fuzzy. At 15 years old, still pre-pubescent, I was all alone. Even as I write, I begin to cuss and swear under my breath.
One day all was white.
The next day all was black.
I didn't have to run away from home because home ran away from me.
Never can a person make sense of such an experience while in the midst of it. For about seven years, I was in sack cloth and ashes. I sat in the proverbial desert, in a far away land, and I waited. Could love ever find me? During these years, my heroes were Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and Joe Strummer of the Clash. I fell in love with the swagger of anarchy. All I knew, though I didn't know why, was that authority was BAD.
Luckily, I rebelled into academia and athletics. My pain was channeled into the world of leftist politics and college wrestling. To me, the world was a terrible place, and I was intoxicated with the drive to change everything as we know it.
My experience is the response of a child to trauma. The world and its rulers (and usually its creator) are crazy. The rules make no sense. Its governors are cruel. No one gets it!! All the world is Babylon. The world is a vampire.
This expereince creates in the mind a worldview that sees all the ways of the world as unjust and authority as evil. Some respond to this expereince in secret ways by leading a double life. We trick the system. Others, like myself, react in more overt ways.
BUT...then, in my life, something profound happened. One day not long after I graduated from University, after I had just come home from a bible study, this "something profound" happened. Earlier that night, I had challenged the pastor. I argued with him. I said, "You are an idiot. You have no heart. People are starving to death, and you build you middle class life. This is not the gospel. You think 'Jesus died on the cross for your sin' is the point. Yet, you do not do what Jesus said. Jesus wants you to look like him." Then I said what I really believed: "Jesus didn't die on the cross for your sin".
To this tirade he simply said, "You need to read your bible".
Like a fool, I did. And something happened.
I read the statement that night in the Bible:
"Behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world".
The sin of the world!! I knew the sin of the world.
All of a sudden I knew not only the sin of the world but that I was "of the world". In an instant of time, I saw the solution. The problem is deep in the heart of all of us. In the deepest place and at the most opportune time, I saw Jesus dying for my sin and for the sin of the world. I saw that the problem with all mankind is deep within, and I was no different. I knew I was a slave to sin. The problem with the world wasn't God. The problem was all of us.
In that instant, I saw that God had intentionally brought me to this place, and, then, He revealed Himself. The governor of the universe was GOOD. "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all".
The rest is, well, personal history.