I have been putting off writing this story. I had lots of other stories to share–exciting successes of folks all over the country who have shared their fears and problems with me and applied my biblical concepts in their lives. It’s really fun to feel like you are truly helping people.
This is different. Personal. Sobering. Please bear with me as I do my best to share this. I see it as a wake up call for me–and for you.
Sam (not his real name) grew up in a good Christian home with love and family. He had a successful father, a loving mother, and a sister. They went to church and did good things in their home town. The perfect American childhood, wanting for nothing, enjoying the love of family, and being actively involved in community.
Like most kids, Sam questioned some of the concepts his Pastor taught and recognized the hypocrites sitting near them in church. But he went to a good, Christian college and focused on his major–and the parties on campus. All this to say that he was a very typical millennial.
More and more, Sam became disjointed from church life. And more and more he saw discrepancies between the “Christian” lifestyle and the double-standard that seem to constantly rear it’s ugly head. One friend told him she was in her church choir and attended church services three times a week.
“So you are a Christian?” Sam asked her.
“No,” was the girl’s response. “I just go to church and sing in the choir.”
Sam was more confused than ever.
Then one of his favorite fishing buddies told him on one of their regular bass runs, “I’m gay.” This buddy of Sam’s was a very active Christian in his denomination.
Sam’s confusion escalated. “I’m not a Bible scholar,” he began, “but that’s just not right.”
These conversations–and others like them–caused Sam to think all Christians are a strange mixture of weirdness and confusion; laking focus, purpose, or even the ability to be in touch with the real world today.
This was where Sam was in his life when we met and began to study the Bible together. The first session was over four hours long. He felt so encouraged and changed. But he was fighting a past and a long list of connections to sin–including porn and other things. We must always remember that those things give Satan a right to be in your life.
We had studied together and texted back and forth for weeks. He had been to my home for a Bible study more than once. But this time he snapped.
His anger erupted, and he came at me, wrapping his arms around me in a tight squeeze. I have never felt that kind up strength up close. Although he was about my size (I’m 5′ 9″), he felt superhuman. As he wrapped his arms around me, I said out loud, “Get back in the Name of Jesus; leave me alone by the blood of Jesus.”
He let me go and went to the kitchen sink. He turned on the water and started throwing handfuls at me. But then he began to grab pots and pans and kitchen utensils, hurling them right at me–and I was only 10 feet away. Nothing at all ever hit me. Things flew by me on both sides, but I didn’t get a scratch. I picked up my cell phone and walked outside, dialing 911 for the first time in my life. As I talked to the 911 operator, I heard crash after crash inside my home. He flipped a baby grand piano by himself–it has taken about seven of us to set it up. He threw my furniture through large windows along the back of my home, he smashed our furniture. Glass was broken into such small pieces that it was a fine white powdery dust on the mantle and in the fabric of the carpet and couches.
Words can’t describe the scene when he was done. It was like living a nightmare. Family photos smashed and torn, keepsakes and nicknacks in pieces around the room. Memories seems to lie there among the ruins. But I was safe and “stuff” can be replaced. My worry was Sam. He needed prayers and help.
I looked at the timer on the phone call to 911 later. He did all that destruction in less than five minutes.
One of the police officers saw the mess and asked, “He did all this?”
“What were you doing?”
“We were having a Bible study.”
Lord, please bless Sam with what he needs most of all. Help his family through the difficult task of helping Sam get better. Give them the professional help they need. And give Sam a heart willing to do what’s necessary to change and become more like Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Please pray for Sam. And please pray for me. In the war against Satan, ALL Christians are participants. Some are active; some are dormant. Everyone is supposed to be a missionary, sharing Jesus with those we meet. C.S. Lewis once said, “Every Christian is a missionary or an impostor.” Are you a missionary or an impostor?
Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?”