Sunday, November 26, 2006

On this day 42 years ago...

On this day 42 years ago... a child was born. He spent many hours in an incubator as they were not sure if he would breathe properly on his own. His mother paid the army hospital 5 bucks and after a few hours rest made her own bed and gathered her new born boy and took him home.

His dad loved him, though was not around much, in fact he spent much of that time in jail... from drinking too much and getting into fights... His mom would drive over the mountains between Tacoma and Fort Lewis where he was stationed, to visit him when he had been drinking and crying over the phone about how much he missed her and me... The boy would sit on the car seat (not in one) and was known to roll onto the floor at times when mom had to stop fast.
She would talk to him, and she would confide in me that she did not know what she had gotten into.

His first memories are of being at the family ranch house... he was placed on his belly and his grandpa called out to him to come to him... he struggled and fought, yet finally slowly crawled over to his grandpa... he picked him up and was very proud of him...

As the boy grew, his dad was around a bit, yet hard times made his mom and dad make a tough decision to leave him with his grandparents for a summer as they tried to find work. He was left on the farm... he saw the animals befriended an uncle who swore way too much and would hang on his pockets. He even recalls the day the chickens had to be slaughtered as they had gotten some sickness... the hatchet came down, the heads would roll, the wings would flap and the headless bodies would run around and around... it was fascinating! The women then went hard at work plucking and dunking in steaming water to remove the feathers.

Mom and dad returned.

We lived in a small town, in a very humble house... that is still standing today in Cut Bank MT. One day the dog went through a fence... the boy followed and soon realized he was lost. Some girls saw him walking on the sidewalk... and picked him up and asked him where he lived... he had no idea so they drove around the block until I saw my mom on the side walk frantically looking for me... she was very happy to see him!

Dad still drank... and one night he went out with friends leaving his boy and wife home... he never came home...he crashed into a on coming truck with his girlfriend by his side. Mom said he fell asleep... the boy figured it out years later.

As he grew God put people in the boys life. They shared with him God's love... They told him God really loved fatherless children... somehow... someway... I wanted to know this God... but he was young... and G.I. Joe was his best friend.

He grew older and was excited that he was going to get to go to school! Kindergarten... but then was told... the he could not go as he had not lived in the district long enough... or something like that... so he never got to go.

They moved to a new town which was not too uncommon as they moved often, yet this move seemed different... He attended grade school on the south side of town... He felt like he owned the place as he knew where the best place to get comic books... steal peeks at he girly mags and could wheelie his bicycle around the block! All went well until 6th grade as then he had to move across town to another school... which was tough as he went to the bottom of the pecking order...


Father Kale King was the Episcopalian priest who lived next door… he desired this family to come to know Jesus and befriended the boy. The boy served as an acolyte for a while… Father King tried to teach us about Jesus... He used slides and I have no idea what he was talking about… but I liked that man… he was gentle and caring… The boy sort of saw him like that Jesus he talked about… Yet on Sunday… the boy noticed that God was taken out of a box… everyone good and bad ate Him… then drank His Blood… the same blood Father King’s son and the boy would sneak drinks from the fridge downstairs.
He also noticed that the same people who went to the bars at night… would be in that little church on Sunday… The boy would listen to father King preach… and could not understand a bit…

The boy went to another church once and attended Sunday school… the teacher did the flannel animal story board… it was about Moses. The teacher asked the boy who Moses was… the boy said he did not know… the class laughed at him and said he was stupid. The teacher smiled like she agreed.

Jr High had its challenges and the boy found he was a good athlete. He would throw shot put with the Jr varsity and varsity as a 7th grader... and sometime out throw them!

But, as it would, he found a new passion... rock music... and girls... and of course... beer!

Sports lost their appeal. And as a 9th grader he began hanging with the seniors! One reason was he played guitar and they needed someone who could play, and that was him. The other reason was that as a 9th grader he seemed to mature faster than most, and could buy the beer!

This went on until one day the boy met a man who invited him to come over and play guitar with him. Brain was a bit weird... he was a youth pastor... and at this point the boy was not too sure about that God thing... though the boy still would get stoned and talk about God with his friends. One said he was an atheist... and the boy asked why? He said, "Because my dad is." The boy thought and asked, "What if your dad is wrong? Shouldn’t you think it out for yourself?" He pondered on it for a bit and they smoked another joint. His dad was a womanizer, and pothead and a drunk... he was cool! He was a bouncer at a bar and would bring home different women all the time. He once got in a fight against 3 guys and though was beaten pretty bad... held his ground... the boy wanted be like him... except for the smoking pot with his kids... that seemed a little bit... unfatherly.

Meanwhile Brian began reaching out to the boy... he was invited to go on an overnighter with the youth group... one of the boys friends went to it and there was this girl... yep... a girl.

He went to the overnighter and Brian sat and talked to the boy well into the night. He told his a strange story of a guy named Jesus who loved people so much he let them kill him on a cross... they hammered nails in his feet and hands... and then they shoved a spear into his side... but he was dead by then. Brian said this guy then rose from the dead... the boy had heard some of this story before at a youth church camp... It was fun there, we sang, swam and they talked about Jesus like he was an astronaut. Or they would read a book about some Lion called Aslan and try to talk about it with us… it was a strange book and I did not see what Jesus had to do with it. The boy even accepted this guy in my heart at a young age... he was the guy that was said love fatherless children... the boy wanted to know him... yet... felt so far away.. This boy had become too much like his father. At this young age, he felt dirty and bad. Like no one would love him... and not even this Jesus would care about me... The boy one night went to he medicine cabinet to end it all… only found aspirin and lost count a twenty pills. He felt numb and strange… and did not expect to live… but he woke up and did not realize the true miracle till later as someone told him that his liver should have shut down the next day…. The boy realized that if there was a God, that God must have a purpose for the boy somewhere.

The boy told Brian, "I want to go to hell because I want to meet my father. I know my mom... but I never really met my father." Brian was a bit taken back by that!

The boy went on with life... and Brian asked the boy if he would come to a concert at the church. The boy was not sure... but the band played a bit at our school. They were Native American and talked about their culture... the boy thought they were pretty good... so the boy went to the church.

The church would open their doors to the youth... there one could play air hockey, board games and listen to... Christian music... which was like the music I listen to but was about God and stuff.

The boy sat through the concert... and even at one point his friends came in and tried to get him to go and party... the boy had a bit to drink even before going to he concert... he told the friend he promised to stay until the end as Brian told him that the band would talk a bit after the concert.... and they did...

"If you are struggling with something... sex, drugs, alcohol... what ever, Jesus wants to help you... ask Him to help you and He will!" the man proclaimed... the boy thought about it... he was drinking way too much. So he said, "If you keep me sober tonight, I will see what I can do for you..."

Funny to think back on that. That boy had a lot to learn and really still does.

He felt a burden lift... literally it was like weights were removed from his shoulders. His head was clear... he left and went out to his car. He was going to go out and look for his friends to party it down... but... he... had... no ... gas...

He had just enough to get home and then go to the station later... because he had not money for gas. he went home... and God kept him sober... that night... and the next... and a week later... then a friend of his got a 6 pack... the boy tried to drink but decided it was just too boring!

He began to wonder what had happened...

There is much more to this story... but I need to wrap it up a bit. I have had people that God has placed in my life... just at the right place and right time. Without those people that boy would not have grown up to be me.

Even today... at age 42, God places people in my life... even as a father with children of my own, this Father in Heaven has never let me go from that long embrace of years ago... I may have doubted, and even wished it all away... yet He was and is always there... on time... in the right place... for me.


I see you all here on this blog as each one being one of the people God has given me as a gift... a friend... I have been slowly... (Very slowly) even realizing that those who are my enemies, may also be my best friends...as they do not care for my feelings but are sure to tell me of my failings! In that it reminds me to remain humble.

You have been part of God's plan to make me the man He desires me to be. In that I thank you.

With much love,
Blessings,
iggy


6 comments:

Ken Silva said...

Hello Iggy,

I couldn't help but notice that while you were being so thankful you apparently neglected to post my comment sent in from the thread below.

peace.

iggy said...

Ken,

I did not receive a comment from you... try again as it may have been lost in Googles land of glitches...

Thanks,
iggy

Steve said...

Happy Birthday!

This is very well written.

In no way do I see you as an enemy either, we're brothers.

And I appreciate your tone. You're in a tough spot. Those against the EC have their arguments all lined up, and they are ready to fire away.

I am not a fan of the EC. Yet as I read Bell, McManus, Jones, McClaren and others I see some wise things being said.

I also apreaciate your response to my mile long response.

You're a good man, and again Happy Birthday!

-Steve

iggy said...

Thanks Steve.

Blessed,
iggy

Elson - son of El (El means God in hebrew) said...

brother :) i love you :)

thanks for sharing your life with me.

Jesus is love,
elson

iggy said...

Elson,

I sometimes wonder why i do it... but I still believe God has called me to pour out my life here for some reason... even the not so good stuff... which is relaly hard...

It was funny that the very first post on my "birthday" story, was a critic... who was more interested in "getting me" than "loving me"... sad really.

You are truly a blessing in my life and I know God is using you mightily in Singapore.

Blessings,
iggy