I have been receiving letters of support and many prayers offered up as I am fighting to recover from a serious respiratory bug. God has used a recent ER visit to finally get me an appointment with a doctor. Please pray this will be the way God has a doctor following me for my very rare conditions.
In my prayer time with my Lord, He said I needed to write to you today on the subject of telling people about the love of God and His one and only son, Jesus Christ. It was as I listened to the CD Eternal Life from The Salvation Army North York Temple, that scenes of my life came back to my mind. My Lord reminded me of all the times He called me to preach and teach about His love.
When I accepted Christ over 30 years ago, I promised that my whole life would be devoted to telling others about His love.
There are times when my love for my Lord did not burn as brightly as it should have. Like many of us, I have had my spiritual desert where I did not feel the active and living presence of God. Yet, as I read about the life of Mother Teresa, who for over 50 years did not feel God speaking to her heart and Oswald Chambers, who had a four year dark night of the soul, I was encouraged. If people of such strong faith struggled with feeling God’s presence in their life, then I was in good company.
The call of God for a life more dedicated to His service came out of my own spiritual desert. My Lord took me to the gates of death itself, when I was choking to death from fluid accumulating in my throat.
I was admitted to Toronto General Hospital after a reaction to an attendant wearing cologne sent me to the hospital. While hospitalized I had a reaction that caused me to produce continuous strings of mucus. No sooner would the nurse suction out mucus only to have more mucus come.
The amount of oxygen in my blood plunged to 77%. For those unfamiliar with just how serious this is doctors have told me a normal blood oxygen reading is above 92%. This gives you an idea of how close to death I was.
My Lord was challenging me to a full obedience to His calling on my life. He was tired of me waffling in the commitment I made at age 20 to serve Him. 26 years later I arrived at a critical point of decision. The question He wanted answered was this. Was I willing to die if He required it of me?
A hospital chaplain was there as she asked me the question that God demanded an answer to. With directness and a heart of loving concern she asked, “Kevin, are you willing to release your physical life to your Father?”
I hesitated. I was still harbouring anger in my heart against God. I felt He abandoned me when I needed to be rescued from the terrible and horrifying abuse of my manic depressant schizophrenic father. Why had He taken six long and miserable years to release me at age 11 from the pain of hearing those haunting words of my father?”You’re lazy. You’re stupid. You’re clumsy. Your brother’s smarter than you’ll ever be. I wish you had never been born.”
I wish you had never been born. I wish you had never been born. Cruel and cutting words from a sick man, who I no longer really knew. Where did Dad go? I just couldn’t understand. How could a child ever truly understand how his father could be loving one moment and so full of hate the next?
God allowed my mom, my brother and my two sisters to experience physical and emotional abuse for far too long. Why Lord did You wait so long to free us from our tortorous prison?
My father was dead. I forgave him. My wife, Karen and I, had prayed him into the Kingdom just before pneumonia took his life. The one person I hadn’t forgiven though was me.
Yet, life wasn’t neat and simple like the characters I would create in my mind as a child, who possessed the ability to be the ones in control. They were the noble and brave men who had the power to kill my father. They were my heroes. I was not a World War 2 fighting ace, who could swoop down and kill my father and all abusers. My Lord put me on the far more difficult path of loving abusers and those who have been abused.
I had to forgive myself for not being able to rescue my mom, my brother and two sisters from the abuse.
Karen, my God-given bride cried. She knew that if I said no to God He was prepared to take my life. His patience with my vascillating commitment to Him was at an end.
The mucus kept coming and coming. Finally, I relented. I told God He could take my life if that was His will. I nodded in the affirmative to the chaplain, that I would be willing to die if my Father wanted that.
Slowly, my blood oxygen began to rise. I would be in the hospital two more weeks and several weeks more recovering at home.
From that time onwards, I have sought to tell others about how much God loves them. I have had my hilltop experiences of joy serving my Lord; I have known deep valleys of depression.
I have come to understand that everything I experienced in my life was for a calling God put on my life to be a wounded healer of others. It was a call far greater than I could have ever imagined for myself. It would and still takes everything I have to give.
That was the commitment I made at age 20. It remains my calling now and until I give my last breath working for my Lord.
My dear friends, please tell everyone you can about the love. It is the love that Christ has for everyone, for the agnostic and the atheist, for the rich and the poor. He loves the most respected member in your community; He loves the prostitute. He loves the alcoholic and the addict. He loves you, yes you and your Lord has a wonderful plan for your life, even if you don’t think so. He has a calling uniquely suited for you, yes you.
Do you believe God loves you? Do you believe He has a calling on your life?
C.S. lewis was a recognized and valued scholar. He had known the Christian path, but rejected it when his mother died of cancer. He was disillusioned as a boy that God had not healed his mother of her cancer. He went on a journey after that time of devout rationalism and atheism. However, as he sought to disprove God’s existence he came to faith. This is what he wrote in Mere Christianity:
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. Just how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? … Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. (Mere Christianity, 45-46)
Listen to the conversion story of C.S. Lewis from a theistic view of God to the reality of accepting that Christ is the divine Son of God.
There’s a song that has these words.” God so loved the world. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The little tike in the video below (far right side on the second row) is one of the choir members of the Hereford Cathedral Choir. He and the other members are singing composer John Stainer’s For God so loved the world. The lad is wearing glasses. He reminds me very much what I looked like at his age. The determination in that young face to sing for his Lord is so touching to my spirit. Seeing and hearing the children and the adults sing the message of God’s love for all of us uplifts me as I recover from this respiratory bug. There are so many beautiful renditions of this hymn. It was awfully difficult to find just the right one.
When I have recovered from my respiratory bug, I am open to traveling anywhere my Lord asks me to tell others about His love for all of us. I can sing, preach, write, teach and testify about that love. My wife, Karen, is my co-partner in ministry. She can write and preach as well. I am open to helping your Bible college, seminary or university in any capacity my Lord calls me to serve. Let’s start the conversation how I can help you in your calling to tell others about the message of God’s love for the whosoever. That is the calling I committed to at age 20. It is my calling now and until I am called home.
Posted in compassion
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