Pronunciation Guide

Saturday, May 25, 2013

…Titles are stupid. There, I said it.

Be warned: This might be long.

Several weeks ago, Tim Lambesis, the vocalist of As I Lay Dying [one of my favorite bands], was arrested for trying to hire someone to murder his wife. There is some speculation over whether it is real, or a set-up…but I am just going with the assumption that it is true. I haven’t said much about it, but I’ve thought about it quite a bit. And this morning, I had a dream about talking to him.

I was in a building, in an oddly-shaped room. About ten graduating seniors stood against one wall; on the other side of the room, there was some sort of mini press conference. There were only about twenty people over there, scattered throughout the chairs. Tim got up in front of them and said something --- I think it was like, “I’m sorry for what’s happened,” --- and then walked past the people and out the front door.

I watched him go for a second, hesitating, then said to myself, “…Just go do it!” So I ran after him, caught up, and tapped him on the arm/back to get his attention. He looked over and kind of slowed down, but kept walking.

Staying beside him, I said, “I just wanted to tell you that your fans --- or, at least me --- …I’m not mad at you. I don’t hate you. I’m not wishing for terrible things to happen to you.” At this, he stopped and turned more so he was facing me. He said something along the lines of, “I just don’t know why people think there is only one God, or that he lives inside of you, inside your shirt.” [I’m not sure if he meant to say “heart”, or what! Haha!]

I didn’t really know what to say to that --- his response seemed really random; especially since he has professed openly to be a Christian --- but I said something like, “I just hope that good comes out of this.”

He said something about how he wishes people would just leave him and his family alone [this wasn’t directed at me; it was general]. I repeated my desire for good to come from the situation. Then a car drove up behind him, and he got in. As I watched the car drive off, I thought of stuff I wanted to say, should have said. Stuff about Manasseh, and how I’ve prayed that God will really get his attention through this…that he will either come back to God, or come to actually know him for the first time.

…I have a point. I think. ;)
Though…I can’t figure out a way to explain my thoughts without going into all of this stuff that happened years ago. And I don’t really want to do that, because it is just…long. And unnecessary.

…Bottom line…God has changed me. Perhaps it would have happened anyway, without this story…but the story is one of the biggest vessels he has used. And is still using. I’ve always been drawn to redemption, always loved it…but the more I write, the more God chisels away at my old way of looking at things.

Tim is not a good person who did a bad thing. He is not a bad person who has been pretending to be good. He is a fallen person, redeemed by the grace of God. But somewhere along the line, he took his eyes off of God…and put them on himself. And a focus of self will lead to only destruction. It may look different for each of us…but left to ourselves, we naturally self-destruct, and destroy everything around us. Whoever we are.

…There are no “good people”. We are all flawed, all broken…and we all desperately need God. You may refuse to believe that, may think I am stupid for believing that…may think I am close-minded or something. But it is the opposite; I am not close-minded toward any person or people-group or whatever. Why? …There is nothing different about us. We all bleed red. We all cry. We all get upset. And we all are made in the image of God. There is one race, and one race only: the human race. Different skin colors, different cultures, different ways of looking at the world…but all human. And so, all infected with the humanly-incurable disease of sin. There is no difference; ALL have fallen short of the glory of God.

We all fall the same way…and we are all saved the same way: by the blood of Jesus.

What I said to Tim in the dream…is my heart toward him. If I saw him in real life, and could talk to him, that is what I would say. [Though I’d probably say a lot more. And I’d hug him too.] It is my heart toward not only him, but toward anyone who has messed up. …Especially people who know God, love God…and feel so far away from God now because of things they’ve done [or haven’t done].

I am not mad at him. I don’t hate him, at all. I would never wish for awful things to happen to him, for any reason. I hold no vindictive thoughts toward him. …All I want…is for him to genuinely repent and surrender to God. My prayer for him is this: That in his distress, he would seek the favor of God and humble himself greatly before him. And that God would restore him, and use this for good. And that Tim would truly know God after this, in a way he never did before. [2 Chronicles 33:12-13.]

One step toward God is all it will take. If he would just turn to God, God would run to him.

…I realize that this is not exactly story-related. But in a way, it kind of is. Because this is me, my heart. And this desire for redemption is the heart of my story. You can read my story and not really see this. You can read my story without knowing me, and I think you would still find it engaging and such. [I hope!] But my truest hope, beyond any desire for fame or whatever [because I really have none]…is that this story…will be used by God to change someone else, besides me. That someone else will see people, life, God, and redemption…in a new way because of what I have written.

NO ONE…and NOTHING…is beyond redemption. If they are willing to accept it…and surrender it. God can make beauty rise out of the most terrible thing. He IS the Resurrection and the Redeemer. And the Healer.

…So, there are my thoughts on that.

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