It was the summer of 1960. I couldn't help myself. I had never heard a sermon preached with such
enthusiasm, not that I comprehended much of it, but the electricity it created all around me was undeniable.
I couldn’t tell you what his words were, couldn’t tell you how he phrased the invitation, couldn’t even tell you
exactly which guys from my cabin I was sitting with: all I knew was that Jack Wyrtzen was standing down there
on the wooden platform asking me if I would accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Was he talking
directly to me? Of course he wasn’t.....but of course he was!
I jumped up from the bench and was drawn like a magnet to the stage below. There were others but
I was alone in my own space. I was descending the wide pine steps at a fast clip. When the call went out it
was like a gust of wind and I swooshed passed all the others headed in the same direction.
I couldn’t get there fast enough.
For the first time it made sense. For the first time the Holy Spirit’s gentle nudge took root in my heart. How
fortunate for me that there was a man and his family who had cared, who had taken the time to and effort to
bring me up to Word of Life Island where I would be availed of this message of salvation. No one else cared
about me. I was a bullied teenager, sub-masculine I’d say, and had lots of friends, but in reality I had no
friends at all. That’s the sad part.
But the good part is that Jesus had been there all along. Jesus, the one who never wavered, the one who
loved me long before I knew Him, the one who was loving me right then and welcoming me, and the one who
will continue to love me every day while I still reside on planet Earth. And better yet - he’ll go on loving me
There will come a time when we will be in the very presence of our Creator, a time when we will bask in God’s
all consuming love, never even remembering the pain we’d gone through. The day is coming when God will
wipe away every tear from our eyes. We won’t even remember what sorrow was like. We won’t even be able
to relate to our own deaths. We will rejoice for all eternity in our salvation, made available because Jesus
took our sin upon Himself on our behalf. Like little lambs who have strayed off in every direction, Jesus
shepherds us back into His protective fold.
|“They will be God’s
people and God
Himself will dwell with
them and be their God”