Friday, April 12, 2013

A Call and a Reciever

When I put the homosexual pastor down on the receiver, my textbooks consoled me. They said I didn't have to care. They said I could be detached.

They lied.

I don't squirm. It's why I was hired to edit the memoir of a Hollywood actress last summer. It's why in the few months of my craft, I've read explicit accounts of rape, torture, and other depravities, and returned unscathed. Unfeeling would be an understatement. I was, however, unattached.

It was the image of the receiver, in the aftermath of a civil interview that didn't even take an hour, that broke me to pieces.

Let me tell you about my Jesus.

There is something in this world that is very precious to me. The most precious. It's a bit silly, considering it is the largest and most fantastic Thing ever or that could ever be. But I have clothed it within my little heart. For my sake, It appears small. It has spoken of Itself softly, so that I could understand It, and cherish It.

In my days as an atheist, I never argued from the problem of pain because I did not believe I had ever truly suffered. Not really. There was nothing wrong with me bodily or mentally, save a petty intolerance of sweet-gum trees and an unsevere asthma condition. I was not impoverished. My family was orderly and happy. I hated God, but I wasn't a cry-baby about it.

If someone pointed and said, "But look! That one is impoverished! That one is suffering! Argue on his account!" I would say, "Let him argue for himself. How can I give a case for the anguish of the martyrs, when they themselves would not?" If I was to argue from pain, it had to be my own.

Let me tell you about my Jesus.

I would not know anguish until it came with the cross. That was, and still is, the first real suffering I've ever experienced. For it was experienced. Christ did not suffer and die so we would not have to; no, He rather bids us come and die with Him. Christ calls us to suffer for mankind, because He suffered for mankind.

The interview had been one of my worst yet. Not because it went badly. It went very well. I had friendly questions and received excellent responses. It was my worst because it made me question whether I could be a journalist at all.

How luxuriously I have fought the evils of mankind from my books and brains! Indeed, I've defeated the whole world from my office. The philosophers, theorists, and intellectuals fight humanity by detaching themselves from it. Not the journalist. He must engage with it. The thinker makes a clean dissection of human depravity. The journalist drags the stinking carcass into the room and puts it on display.

I see now what that means, to be a journalist. It is not to be a stupid sponger and squeezer of facts. It is far worse. A journalist descends into the streets where the people are. A journalist plunges into the filth. And he'll get filthy with it. And he'll come limping from the black, and must somehow arrange a twisted Imago Dei on a page. Don't bother. He's attached alright.

My God, a journalist is called to suffer with mankind!

I was heartbroken by the receiver. The digital noises had taken something precious and left it somewhere to shiver and die - like an abandoned child - and said it was best for God's people. I listened as my Savior was dismissed, yet pastoral hands were still extended with the promise of hope. I was heartbroken for those who believed in those hands.

Let me tell you about my Jesus.

I broke. I wept. I was so tortured bodily I threw up. And I prayed, hard as I've ever prayed, that God would write me this story, so that I could bring it into people's homes and hearts and bid them suffer with Him!

The Spirit is the Comforter. Pain is the invitation.

And yet, despite the evils I had observed, all of them reflected back on me. For I am the receiver of Christ who breaks His heart.


  1. Beautiful sentiments of the heart. God is using you, his tool, to build up a generation of prayer warriors.

  2. My dearest son . . . God's blessings on you - blessings of a deeper and double portion of His Spirit, blessings of grace, blessings of mercy, blessings of strength, blessings of wisdom. May God pour them as oil over your head. May they cover you and drip great droplets of rich, pure, clear oil all around you. May our kind Jesus direct you in the way you should go.