I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I’m really worried about you. I know you are just preaching at me because you are my boy and all that, but I know that I’m OK, God and I have our own little understanding. I know I get crazy now and again, but I don’t think God is going to send me to hell for having a good time. I mean he understands I’m just having a little fun. I’m not a bad person and he knows my heart and all that. I agree I get a little crazy now and again, but it’s good for the soul, right? Well, enough of that, I’m sure you’ll be back to normal soon and we can smoke a fatty to celebrate. Be a good boy and tell Jesus I said hi.
During another party a week or so later I felt myself becoming uncomfortable. I was feeling haunted, though I couldn’t explain it to myself. I felt dirty and confused, so I retreated to my bedroom and closed the door and said, “OK, God, if you’re real, show me something.” As I looked down in exhaustion, I saw the corner of a Bible that my parents had given me when I went off to college. Until that night it had been hidden under my bed. But for some reason, that night, it was peeking out.
I sat at my desk and played Bible roulette. The Bible opened to Ezekiel 18. I began reading and came to this,
“The person who sins is the one who will die…But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live…Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live…Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die…I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!” (NLT).
That freaked me out.
So I closed the Bible and said, “God, let’s try this again.” I opened again and this time it fell open to Romans 2 which says, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”
That really freaked me out.
A few weeks later I was at home on Christmas break, and I was doing a drug called Ecstasy. Sometime after midnight I became strangely sober and felt an overwhelming burden to call Dave. So at 2 a.m. Dave came up to my house, carrying his Bible, with tears rolling down his cheeks.
We sat down, and I told him I needed to know more about God. He asked me if I knew what he was doing when I called him. He went on to tell me that when I called him, he was doing the same thing he’d been doing every night since he left Virginia Tech—he was on his knees praying for me.
Over the next few days and weeks, I continued to read the Bible and have conversations with Dave. He told me that God made me to love and worship Him. He explained that the guilt I was feeling was God showing me that I was in rebellion against Him and was on my way to hell. He explained that Jesus died for sinners like me and then rose from the dead to extend mercy to me if I would turn from my sins and believe in Jesus. He told me that Jesus would forgive all of my sins, change my life, and make me His forever.
I’m not sure if it was that night or in the weeks that followed, but God saved my soul. I began reading the Bible, and it was no longer a book of old stories, but now it was like a spotlight that searched my soul and showed me the depths of my sin and the even greater depths of God’s love for me in Jesus.