I know I know, I just finished blogging about Carlos Whittaker's latest album release "Ragamuffin Soul." I swear I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, but tonight as I was hopping through Twitter I saw a reposting of a video shared on YouTube as Carlos was preparing to film the video "God of Second Chances." If you haven't seen it before, watch this:
I watched the edited version before, but watching this raw footage still brought goosebumps to my arms and praising God for what was clearly a holy moment. I then saw a link to Carlos' fanpage on Facebook called Second Chances and decided to briefly share my own second chance. It got me thinking more in depth about it, and I wanted to share it here.
Just over ten years ago, while outside in a small southern Arizona town, I was struck by lightning. Yes, 50,000 kilojoules coursed through my body in a millisecond. I had two witnesses who later told me that as I stood next to a van and lightning zapped the van and me, they thought I would fall to the floor immediately killed by the shock. The two witnessed relayed that they saw me stand there for over a minute after the strike, still standing, but looking as though my mind was lost somewhere in the Twilight Zone.
I remember much less than that. I remember standing next to the van as a summer monsoon was preparing to unleash its fury on the desert floor around me. Moments earlier I noticed huge rain drops began falling feet apart from each other and I thought I needed to get back to my truck quickly. Instead, a flash of bright light consumed my vision and I immediately felt a jolt of electricity incapacitate my muscles while I made a grunting "Hrrrmmmph!" noise. It lasted for such a short moment that I could feel my muscles contracting and coming back to a state of rest as I stood standing. At the same time the thunder clap surrounded me with such a loud noise the only thing I remember saying audibly was "That...was...CLOSE!" Then, what the two witnesses described as me standing there for nearly a minute was only about five seconds to me - I honestly don't recollect the full minute but only a few seconds. At that point the next thing I remember is that the sparse rain drops had given way to a full cloudburst, and I was standing in the middle of it getting soaked. I ran back to my truck and heard the account of the two people who had just watched the whole event transpire.
I ended up going to the hospital to get checked out because I began feeling extremely sore in the left half of my body. My family rushed down and met me there, but after the doctors finished running diagnostics (jeez, I sound like a car at a tune-up shop) I was told that I was okay. The ER doctor cautioned me that I would feel a soreness like I've never known the next day, and he was right. I couldn't get out of bed until after forty minutes of slowly moving my muscles. God had most definitely given me a second chance!
Ever since that revolting day (yes, pun intended), I have shared my testimony with others, living my life as authentically as I can before others and before God. In return, I have seen God use me in ways I would have never thought possible. He's allowed me to reach beyond what I knew about the world and have an impact on those who would have never stepped into a church. God was showing them that He wanted to give them a second chance, even if their dad, their wife, their family gave up on them long, long ago.
He is the God of Second Chances, and Third Chances, and Fourth Chances. When the broken church loses the idea of what it means to love them like Jesus, His love never fails and keeps on giving.
For I am convinced that neither height nor depth, nor angels nor demons...nor any thing in ALL creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!
God, use me tomorrow. Fill me with the love of Jesus so I can give it away, And please make me salt and light, even through all my weakness and frailties. Amen.