Let Hope In, Session 1: Unreliable Witnesses

unreliablewitness

Why seeing isn’t always believing

By Sean Savacool

I held my best friend’s hand as he gasped for breath. Events in life can sometimes catch us by surprise. One minute you’re reading a novel, the next you’re clutching a dying hand. I was 18, homeless, poor, and in the middle of the most trying time of my life so far.

At 15 I dropped out of high school after floating in and out of the public school system. I’m still not sure why this happened, but it has had a great impact on the person I am today. After spending the interim years working to keep afloat, everything fell apart, and I ended up living as a drifter with my best friend. That was how I found myself kneeling on the floor begging for a miracle.

I did witness a miracle that night. My friend was shot in the chest, and he survived after being resuscitated five times. I literally watched God put breath back into this man.

The weight of years of struggles and pain began to press heavily on me, and I in turn pushed myself away from God.

After my friend recovered from his wounds he was unable to continue living as a drifter, so I struck out on my own and tried to make sense of my life. I was isolated from family and friends and cut off from the spiritual fulfillment that I needed. The weight of years of struggles and pain began to press heavily on me, and I in turn pushed myself away from God. I doubted Him, and I doubted religion.

But how could a person who had witnessed an act of God fall so far away from the truth and the light? One would imagine that experiencing an event so intense would make faith and belief come easy. Not so. Life is often a difficult and dirty affair. No matter how many miracles I see in this existence, because I’m a sinner, I will still doubt.

I’m not the first either. Peter denied Christ, Thomas doubted, David had his curious incident with Bathsheba. Countless Bible figures had their struggles, often times after being a part of great acts of God. These are the afterburns of miracles. Often after experiencing God in a powerful way, we as human beings jump right back into what is not good for us. For me it was cynicism and disbelief in God. For some it is bad habits or addictions. What does this say about humanity? We are fallen creatures. We are fickle and never fully satisfied. Almost as soon as an event is in the past we are ready for the next thing. We are like that spiritually. I am like that.

After seeing what happened to my friend and taking stock of my life, I realized that the only way my life would change was if I cried out to God. I took hold of my life, gave it to Him, and watched as He turned things around.

Doors opened and I found a good job. I managed to find a place to live, and I even had the chance to live with my mother and brother again for a couple of years. God made a place where I could heal and find rest in Him. There He crafted me into the person I am today.

Years have passed since that miraculous night and more time has gone by since the dark months that followed. Still I find myself in great need of help from God. This doesn’t change, no matter how spiritually secure I think I am. I need help at work, with friends, with family; but even more I need help inside just like everybody else. And as long as I’m a sinner living in a fallen world, I will still need my Savior, time and again.

Sean Savacool is a writer and musician living in Nashville, Tenn. He is currently wrapping up his first novel and working on an English degree.

 

 

 

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