January 8, 2008

So You Had a Bad Day...

I spent the weekend with a friend of mine.

The last couple of years have been a journey to hell and back for him. Four years ago, he moved his family to a new city to work with youth and pursue God's call. Long story made short, the people there took advantage of his generous and trusting heart, sabotaged his ministry, and sent him and his family packing. His faith was shattered. He could no longer turn to the church for comfort or counsel, and rarely engaged the Scriptures.

For reasons unknown to me, about this time, I sent him an email with the lyrics of some of my songs attached. And, honestly, I hadn't thought about it since, until he said something yesterday.

He had flown me out to sing and speak to his youth at their winter retreat. We worshiped together and engaged God's Story together and dreamed about changing the world. It was a great weekend. Then, yesterday, he was driving me back through the mountains of Virginia to the airport at Richmond and said,

"I never told you this, but I kept the lyrics you sent me on my nightstand. Every now and then, they'd get knocked off and I'd read them as I picked them up. Those lyrics became my prayers when I couldn't open the Bible."

I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as he talked. I had no idea. Most of the songs had been written from times of personal struggle and pain, and were honest cries to God.

Hear my cry, O God
Listen to my prayer
From the ends of the earth
I call to you

My heart grows faint within me
My spirit yearns for you
In a dry and weary land

Lead me to the Rock
The Rock that's higher than I
Save me from myself
For Your love's better than life.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Wow, Ethan, I love this story! (sniff) Isn't it amazing how God can prompt us and use us at a crucial time in someone's life and we have no idea the impact it's having....in some cases we may never know this side of heaven. This story spurs me on to faithfully keep obeying even during those "dry" spells when I feel like nothing I'm doing is making a difference. Thanks for sharing!