Born again and again

Just when I think I have found the secret to loving Jesus, it eludes me. I have had some very close encounters. I am not a slacker seeker. I have been curious about God long enough to know I am due some understanding. Many people I love have that light about them and credit Jesus.

I had a personal encounter recently at a courthouse in Tennessee where a man pled guilty and read an apology letter to my son for entering his home — a stranger — and stabbing him in his face while he slept, and leaving him for dead. This man went on to read about all of his good works as a kid, and the judge loved him. He said he reminded him of his own son and then I saw that light of the love for Jesus go on in that judge, listening to the recounting of that young man’s early life. It was a good story. I even wanted to see this guy back doing his good work like the judge ordered.

But then I saw the reality-check look to my son’s face (some serious life-saving surgery work there) and I realized this was another one of those close encounters with being born again that leaves me feeling a strong need to, well, be born again. It was not long after that I got my chance — this time closer to home.

I met an angel on the courthouse steps in Asheville, at 5 a.m. She had been picked up in Hickory on a mistaken warrant. We had a couple of hours while she waited for a ride. God came into the conversation. This was the day Jesus sat down right between us and kept us warm and we could not get enough of the peace we felt talking out loud about our doubts and fears and agreements.

It makes me look back on that day in the courtroom and the judge’s miscreant hero-worship with new perspective. My boy suffered a second crime of passion that day. I am with the people on this one. Disappointed, yet gratefully aware. Maybe even born again.

— Sally Duryea

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