I wasn’t supposed to be there, I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t need to be there but, there I was.
I gave in to the relentless invitations of a relative, drug myself out of bed early on a Sunday, and found a pew in the back of the church where I could make a quick exit if I needed to.
Blah, blah, blah…the man behind the podium went on, delivering a sermon I couldn’t have cared less about.
“Finally it’s about to end” I thought when he said, “If anyone wants to feel the love of Christ, they need to come forward right now.”
“Love of Christ?” I mumbled under my breath.
“Hell no, I don’t need or want the love of anyone, let alone Christ.”
I was from the streets, the product of a broken home, and I was tough loner who didn’t need anyone. Love died to me years before and was replaced with anger and a fight or flight instinct that never rested. You want a fight? Bring it on but keep your love to yourself, or else.
Before I knew what was happening I was halfway down the aisle, walking toward the preacher.
“Do you want to feel the love of Christ, right here, right now?”
“No.” I thought as the word “yes” came out of my mouth.
“Bow your head and pray with me.”
I bowed my head to avoid making a scene but I was not going to pray along. I didn’t want to and didn’t need to.
“Father God, I pray that your Holy Spirit will move this man to accept your gift of salvation. That he will lay his sins, his troubles, his past at your feet and walk out of here this morning a new creation.”
Then I felt it.
A warm and inviting embrace…
“No!” I thought as my fists instinctively clinched and I recoiled from the unwanted advance.
I opened my eyes, ready to take a swing at whoever was foolish enough to lay their hands on me but no one was within six feet.
“Oh God.” I cried out as my knees hit the floor.
I wept and I prayed…
I wept for three hours that day.
He broke me, He hugged me, He healed me.
*This was inspired by part of a conversation I heard on the radio a while ago.