“Have you ever had to worry about THIS? I don’t have the muscle strength to lift a FORK to feed myself! If I trip and fall down, how am I gonna get back up?!?! Jesus is still there for me!” yelled Scott.
Dave rolled up his other sleeve, revealing purple and black needle tracks. “OK, let’s talk about pain! How about speedballing on your way to church on Sunday morning because you know you’re gonna have to sit and look at your dad while he passes out the communion bread knowing he beats your Mom and sister and there’s nothing you can do about it!?! How about getting stoned on the way home from youth camp because you can’t STAND to be in the same room with the rest of your family!??! Why? Because you’re too afraid they’ll figure out what a loser you really are…” his voice trailed off.
“You wanna know why I love Jesus so much?”, Dave continued, “Because He was there for me when NO ONE was. When my Dad kicked me out, when my party friends left me on the side of the road…when my church friends turned their back on me, Jesus was the only one I had. He KNOWS how screwed up I am, and He hasn’t given up on me!”
Then it stopped. The yelling. The screaming. The scar contest. It all stopped.
Dave lit up another smoke. “I gotta go for a walk…”
Scott and I must have sat in the room in silence for 20 minutes or more. He finally left the room in silence. When Dave returned, I got up off the bed and turned Phil Keaggy back on.
Something happened that night to all of us. Dave confided in us something no one else on campus knew. And we didn’t tell. But the next day, Scott joined us for lunch. He went out on the weekends with us. He took us to Shreveport. Not as his ‘projects’, but as friends. We were definitely an unlikely brotherhood. But, we never could talk Scott into skipping chapel…
In the summer of ’92, I asked Dave and Scott to be in my wedding. They had become lifelong friends. Today they each are married, have families of their own, And I know I could call them on a moment’s notice in time of need.
Today, Scott is bound to a wheelchair, a spinal brace and a breathing machine. Dave still smokes legal substances, and has had more than a few bouts with old habits. Me, I still struggle with pleasing people, trying to fit in, and trying to remember that God doesn’t love me when I’m good. (He just loves me.)
We’re a band of brothers. An unlikely Three Amigos. A preacher, a joker, and a midnite toker. All sinners. All saved by grace. All trying desperately to hold fast to the Hand that leads us. We’ve all got scars. And we’ve only got Jesus to get us through.