I was nine years old the night that I told my mother, for the second time, what my stepfather had been doing to me when she wasn't home. The next day, I sat in an office with a tape recorder and a police officer, describing everything I could remember of the past five years and how it had started and when the last time he'd touched me had been.
The temptation then becomes to “coast” through life, living comfortably, patting ourselves on the back and saying: “We deserve a break; this is what we have worked so hard for.” We continue to work and put aside more money each year, and wait till we go to the grave or the Lord takes us to glory. However, is that what will constitute a life well lived?
Orville Rogers may be 95 years old, but remains a competitive world-record-setting runner, after taking up the sport at age 50, and even went skydiving at 90 and hang-gliding at 93. While his contemporaries nurse their health, Rogers continues living vibrantly. His secret is found in the Bible, which he reads every year—now in the midst of his 50th time.
Anybody who has read this column before knows I’m unapologetically charismatic in my theology. I love the Holy Spirit, and I believe the New Testament calls us to make room for manifestations of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul gave guidelines for the gift of prophecy; he saw dramatic healings; he experienced supernatural visions; and he told church leaders not to forbid speaking in tongues (see 1 Corinthians 14:39). Paul was the epitome of charismatic spirituality.
A blast transfigured April 15 from the last day Americans have to pay their taxes to a day when heroism and cold-grit courage are remembered. At 2:49 p.m. the whole world exploded—or so it seemed for the marathoners who were steps away from crossing a finish line they had trained hard to earn, to throw their sweaty and fatigued arms around their loved ones to rejoice in a personal victory.
Each April 4th I mourn a man I never knew, wondering what would have been had his life not been cut short by assassination. Martin Luther King, Jr., reverend, civil rights icon, and practitioner of non-violent protest, was gunned down at Memphis’ Lorraine Hotel in 1968. The then 38-year-old had made an indelible mark on the ethos, conscience, and better graces of America. Like so many figures of that time, he paid the cost of change with his life.
The meltdown I had in the Chick-fil-A parking lot was hotter than the spicy chicken sandwich I’d driven there to order. The day was hot, 98 degrees, and I was a hot mess. With my forehead on the steering wheel, I gasped for air and cried in loud, serrated sobs to my friend. With all the windows down and the noon-time drive-through crowd stacking up, I poured out to her all that had sparked a full-blown panic attack.