I had an interview set up with a guy this afternoon to do a newspaper article about him appearing in concert (he's a GREAT singer, right up there with that Phelps guy) at a local church to help raise funds for an upcoming mission trip. It was not the first time I had seen or met Christopher, but the first time we had spent any time talking. When he came into my office, I told him, "you just talk about what you want, and I'll find what I need to use and ask a few questions at the end." Thus began a true, but unexpected worship service that I'm still feeling.
Immediately out of Christopher came the fact that he had been a meth addict for a number of years, but had been delivered July 4, 2005. The horrors of his years as a user, not only meth, but ecstasy and lots of other drugs I can't even spell, were terrible and I found myself on the verge of tears and anxiety as I tried to imagine what this young man had been through. He admitted to leaving the church and God years before because it all just didn't seem that relevant to him. That's a story I hear far too often, you church people.....we're missing the boat on some things....but, that's for another time.
Anyway, Christopher told me that finally at rock bottom, he spent the entire night in prayer to the God he had walked away from. He knew he was going to die, but he wanted to live and get clean. In his own words, he told me the horrors of that night. He saw the demons of Hell trying to get to him and stop his prayers. He saw the shadows of evil surrounding his room in an effort to make him take a hit just so they would go away. But, Christopher persevered and when the morning came, God had won the battle for Chris and he was clean, totally clean. God had pulled him back into His arms of strength and power and Christopher never needed a detox or rehab program; it was a true miracle of God that he never wanted, needed or has touched any addictive substance in three years now.
God led me to ask him, as a musician, what song might be his life theme. Chris broke into tears (I felt like Barbara Walters and had to get a box of tissues), and said the Gaither song "It Is Finished." Through his tears, he said he sang it the night of his deliverance because he was afraid that his life was finished, yet now he can sing it because the battle has been won and that life is finished. My tears were running down my cheeks and onto my notepad, so we both just sat and talked about God for a bit as we composed ourselves. Christopher's story will be in the Henry County Times in the October 8 edition, so you can check it out online at http://www.henrycountytimes.com/ if you'd like.
Folks, over the past year I have learned that these drugs are killing our children and young adults and we are doing nothing about it. In my opinion, our churches are afraid to deal with the issues, so it is not addressed. Schools present the required information, but make it quick and boring. Yet, this generation of our society is dying a slow, horrible death because they don't think we care. We as friends, families, churches, society, etc. If I can do nothing else as a journalist, a blogger, a writer and a Christian, I will beat this drum until the tide turns. I ask you to educate yourselves. Everyone knows someone on crystal meth or other drugs. You don't know it, but you do. Pray with all your heart for these folks, but more importantly, put feet on your prayers and get involved somehow in your communities with drug education. Preach it from the pulpits, teach it in your classrooms, talk to your children. If you want.....I'll be glad to come share these and more of the tragic stories I've learned from people I've met.
As you say your prayers, pray for Christopher, pray for Brian "BJ", and pray for our young people as they face the temptations. Again, it's out there folks, so get used to it.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.