“Yep. That’s me,” wrote Jen after reading Monday’s Catch. We’re focusing on the Catch reader this week and here is what Jen had to say: “This is why I found my spiritual connection to God in the rooms of Al-Anon rather than in church. I had known about God, but I had never experienced Him. Al-Anon is like the Catch. It’s real. Thanks for not pretending. I was so tired of pretending.”
Jen had known about God but never experienced Him, and she experienced Him in an A.A. meeting. Does that mean you have to hit bottom in order to experience God? Well … sort of. You do have to come to the end of something; otherwise, you are just experiencing yourself. The end of your power, the end of your natural ability, the end of your hope, the end of your smarts, the end of your cleverness, the end of your ability to always pull the hat out of the bag, the end of your self-control … pretty much anything will do, but it’s got to be the end of something in order to become the beginning of experiencing God. That’s why pretending will never get you anywhere near God. It’s a substitute spirituality. Pretending is still relying on yourself. You haven’t come to the end of anything when you pretend to be something you are not.
Let’s see what someone else has to say. Here’s Cannon: “I’ve been reading stuff from you since I was in high school, seeing your columns in the back of CCM, and I’m not ashamed to say that you’ve had a big influence on my walk and my growth as a believer. Even now, reading about your struggle with Chandler, and all you are learning about yourself from him, I see parallels in my life. My oldest son has ADHD, which is manifested through impulse control. I see some addictive tendencies in him, and he soaks up most of our parenting energy. But he has also taught us more about love, grace, patience and mercy than if I’d read volumes in a seminary. But these aren’t answers we normally give, like when most people ask ‘How are you?’ [we don’t usually reply:] ‘Oh, I just had a shouting match with my 12-year-old in the middle of the street, but I didn’t punch him in the face, so it’s good. How’ve you been?’
“Your devotionals have truly challenged me, especially in the days after Ferguson, Charleston, Baltimore, etc., to extend the ‘Gospel of Welcome’ and ‘Grace turned outward’ to people I’d otherwise never want to even talk to. I get to do this in my job as a paramedic, and at times, I think I shock my coworkers with giving some folks the healing touch of a listening ear. Thanks for all you’ve done, even if it’s been through gritted teeth, to bring us along on this life with Christ!”
“The healing touch of a listening ear” … how beautiful. Seems like Cannon came to the end of his parenting ability, and maybe the end of his patience, to find the beginning of God in his life.
And, to the list of what our Catch community is like, John R. would like to add, “People who are trying to be\do better and need help seeing what that could look like.” [In other words:] “People who see themselves in the Catch.”
We hope you see yourself in the Catch. We sure like seeing you!