By Billy Beasley
It was an early late summer evening and the young man was walking down the long dark road near his home. He was actually not high on this night, which was no small miracle. For reasons he would never understand, but never forget, he walked with an eye toward the stars. He had no particular destination in mind. Perhaps he might find the right place to get high.
He never fit in anywhere. Always feeling like the outcast. He found temporary pleasures when he discovered the drug culture and free love of subsequent lost souls. He began drinking before the age of fifteen. Soon afterwards, he discovered his God, in the form of marijuana. In time, every drug of that time he would abuse but strangely never have any addiction problems. He came to the end of the road that he lived on and turned left. To this day he can show you exactly where he was when it all changed dramatically. The moment when life would never be the same, even during the ensuing years when he tried in vain to forget the reality of that night. He would never forget the intricate details of that night. First came a whoosh. It was an incredible sensation that ran from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. Then the words. Words that were never thought about or formed in his mind. Strangely, one lone tear ran down his left cheek. He always thought that odd. "Come and admit you're wrong. Come and sing My glorious song." He never ceased walking the entire time. It is a few steps later, when he strains to look to the Heavens and ask a question that he already knows the answer to. "God, is that You?" The realization sets in. "Oh, my God. You are real. All my life I heard You were, but You are actually real." He was very naive. He began to tell people of the event, but eyes began to roll and few wanted to hear. Surely, the good people at church will understand. Sadly, that was for the most part another dead end. They did not believe in that night, or that his transformation was real. Maybe they thought he was beyond redemption.
He had assumed that what occurred that night was something that happened often. So, he did not run up an aisle at church. Does that make it less real? The dramatic transformation was too much and the frustrations and subsequent horrible decisions he made eventually drove him to curse that night. "Why, did You not just leave me alone?" The biggest lie he began to believe was that that night was little to do with him. It was merely answered prayers for his mom. He did not believe in God's love for him. It took many years for him to return to God. He still searches for answers concerning that night. Some answers he realizes now. A dear friend, who upon hearing the story for the first time nearly forty years later said about the treatment he received from the people of the church: "I think their behavior says more about them than it ever did about you." Very recently it dawned on him about these words he heard that night. Sing My glorious song. He grew up in church, where it was more about what you should or should not do. It was not so much about worship. He realized that was what God was saying that night. Worship Me. God wanted him free to worship. Not bogged down in religion. He thought of something recently about that time of transformation that had not crossed his mind in decades. He was on probation at the time of his Damascus Road event. It was several months later when his probation officer called and demanded that he be in his office the next day. He thought it strange but he was not worried and he knew for the first time in years if it was about a drug test he would pass. The young man entered the office the next day as ordered. The man got right to the point. He had the most spiritual dream. A vision perhaps. He wanted to discuss it with the criminal that sat in front of him.
Someone that might not think that he was crazy. Someone who might just understand.
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. They are active members of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, NC.
Billy is the author of The River Hideaway- a traditionally published work of faith based fiction and the newly published novel, The Preacher's Letter.. He shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in this novel. Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’.
You can read Billy's "Sunday Inspiration" column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.