Our Catch today is going to come by way of one of our members, Drew Snider, a pastor from Vancouver, B.C. who founded and helps facilitate a ministry in downtown Vancouver that provides free showers for those on Skid Row.
Pardon me: his adoptive mother didn’t reject him. His adoptive father was totally ashamed of him. Peter was hyperactive, deliberately disobedient to everyone, smoked and drank at an early age (8) and said outrageously crude things. He also became one of my best friends. My mother had encouraged me to “be different,” and in some ways, befriending Peter was a way of doing that. But it was also one of the most powerful friendships I’ve had. Around 7th grade, Peter disappeared from school, and then around 10th grade, he re-surfaced. He had spent a few years in some kind of reformatory, where he kept up his schoolwork and battled a drug problem. Then, “I woke up one morning and said, ‘Pete, you are one f**ked up kid!’” He found his salvation in two basic areas: music and the Bible.
Eventually, he went to California and studied guitar under Vicente Gomez, and Biblical references crept into his songwriting. He constantly encouraged (or badgered) me to read the Bible, particularly the Books of the Kings (and it was a good 25 years before I realized why — the account of the floating axe-head likely spoke into his life, and it’s been a recurring theme for me over the years, too). We jammed together, and some of the greatest moments of joy were in listening to what Pete brought to my songs and I did for his.
Little by little, other people around Pete started recognizing his strange genius and his value, but he never quite shook the drug habit or the rebelliousness. One day in 1990, he went into a motel room in Grant’s Pass, Oregon, and ended his life.
Unlike the 6,000 prized Edsels today, Pete was one who sent himself to the wrecking yard. Your “Catch” should be a reminder to us all to let people know, as often and as loudly and as clearly as possible, that sometimes, they’re the only ones who see an Edsel in the mirror.
The only adjustment I would make to this would be to point out that Drew saw an Edsel too, it’s just that he grew to love them. Turns out it’s his favorite car. Right Drew? And I can’t help but think that Peter helped get you ready for the work you are doing now. My guess is that there is a high percentage of Edsels on our inner city streets, in our prisons and mental institutions.
This tells me there may be more Edsel stories out there. I encourage you to send me yours.
I also want to point out that a number of people are taking advantage of the New Covenant teaching videos we are posting. I hope more of you will take advantage of this opportunity. Cynthia writes: “I have listened to three so far and it is like getting new glasses. My perception is clearer and my heart is filled.”