Question – Why do you take pictures? Most of us are just popping out our phones, taking a picture of a memory we never want to lose, and can then instantly see that picture. That was only a dream when I was eighteen, thirty-two years ago. Nope, back then you had to wait a few days to get that picture in your hand. Also, people didn’t have the option to use a camera or phone that could easily fit in their pocket. Dream on.
In my last post (1*) I shared how one day back then, my camera was a must to take a photo of a certain person singing. But this photo wasn’t about the singer or the song she was singing, but so I’d never forget what took place while she was singing.
How could I not want a picture of when what I consider the most important time in my life took place: the time God graciously showed me I was one of His chosen. The time Christ opened my heart to see what my sin really was, along with my true need for His forgiveness and love.
WHERE’S MY CAMERA? How dare I not take a picture? I have to. I know this is one extra-special thing that just happened, even though I’m not too sure what it is. – I had to take a picture of this person singing because I knew what just happened must never be forgotten, being that it felt a little life-changing.
After that last gathering of all those people, you should have seen the look on Willma’s face when I said, “I can’t explain it, but it felt like Jesus was sort of talking to me. I think I’m—if I understand right—saved!” Willma and me, sisters in the Lord; what could be better?
After telling her what took place, exploding with happiness herself, I couldn’t wait to tell some of those who had asked me before if I was saved.
“Forget what I said before. Now I am!”
I joyfully accepted the fact of how ignorant I was and felt a sudden hunger to learn. I hadn’t felt such peace inside since, well, forever!
As soon as I woke up that next morning, it took me only a second to recall something special took place the evening before.
What happened last night? Was it all real or did I let my emotions take over?
Those thoughts were quickly shoved aside as I felt a newness about myself instantly waking up as well. I could tell that what took place that evening before was real and how that morning was the first day of the rest of my new life.
A few hours later, as all of us campers were getting in the bus to head back home, I realized something. On my bus ride a week before, going to camp, I was filled with unclarity about religion. I had no real understanding about life, feeling rather empty inside. Real love? what’s that? But in that same bus leaving camp, I knew I was different. I wasn’t who I use to be. I was thrilled to be enlightened with what being ‘saved’ and ‘born again’ really meant. I was filled with peace, joy, contentment, and I was excited that I did find love: the love of Christ.
As we started driving away, I looked back at the campground.
So long, old self. So long, old heart. Farewell and good riddance. I’ve been set free, no longer who I use to be, and starting this new road ahead as a true child of God.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.
End of my story next week.