Later that day I called my parents. I told them what happened and that I needed them to be with me. It would take a day for them to get a flight, so I had a friend come stay with me that night.
See, a few weeks earlier God put someone in my life whom He would work through during this time and for the coming weeks. His name was Robert and he had struggled with addiction and the law before. He was the only one who could understand all that I was going through. That day he brought me to his AA meeting and I picked up my white chip (colored chips mark the days one has in recovery).
The following day was all about damage control. Now that God saw to it that I didn’t die, I had two major problems on hand. One, I had violated my stay-away order with Joseph and the police could pick me up and arrest me at any time if he reported it. Two, I had bitched out my lawyer and was sure that he would refuse to work with such a nut job. The stay-away thing was just a waiting game and for several weeks every time a car passed by the blood drained from my face and I tensed up in terror. The lawyer thing required some action.
By this time my parents had arrived and we set up a meeting with him. I can’t convey the magnitude of embarrassment I felt walking into that office. I explained to him the events of that night and if he was shocked, he didn’t show it. It was then that he asked me if I believed in God. A tear fell down my check as I said “I don’t know”. See, while I know now that God had saved me that night, at the time I wasn’t sure it was “divine intervention” because I didn’t believe in God or Christianity. My lawyer responded “You have to.” He then surprised me by opening up about his own journey. He had converted from Judaism to Christianity a few years back when he was having a struggle with his marriage. As he shared his story, chills ran through me and I felt the Holy Spirit come into that room and I cried as He worked through this man to give me love and comfort. My lawyer agreed to keep me as a client, as if not doing so was never an option.
That Sunday was Father’s Day and after many, many years I went to church accompanied by my Dad and Robert, who were also virtual strangers to it. There was a guest speaker, Dr. Bob Barnes, and the topic, given that it was Father’s Day, was actually how men should lead a Christian life. The main passage from scripture was John 8:1-11, the story of the adulterous woman. There were probably 300 people in the church that day (one of those big mega-churches) but I knew that passage was for me. Just as the woman knelt there about to be stoned, so had I been on my knees, beaten down, broken, persecuted and awaiting my death. I was a hopeless sinner, right down to the adultery part and when Jesus knelt down with her, he was kneeling down with me.
I lost it. I began sobbing uncontrollably and had to get up
from my seat and move to the back of the room; but I was still making too much
noise and had to step out into the lobby. I was being purged of sin and my body
was erupting, spewing forth all the fears, suffering, torment and evil in the
form of tears. A group of women surrounded me and prayed for me to find peace,
although they had no idea what had caused this stranger such distress. After
some time, despite the still steady flow of tears, the sobbing had subsided and
I returned to stand in the back of the chapel. It was nearing the end of the
service, the time when they ask those who have decided to accept the gift of
salvation to come forth and say the prayer that will begin their new life with
God. I was still too emotional to come forward but I whispered that prayer
along with them and with that final “Amen” I had been reborn.
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