From Hemingway, Bukowsk, Porn and Adultry to Christ

Check out this testimony from a Navy grunt who started attending our church. It’s amazing…

I am an astronaut.

From space I am an ideal. On paper you can bring me home to your mother and
I won’t try to bed her and your sister when you’re not looking. Working
class poet/hard charging corpsman makes a handsome accessory to a handsome
man.

I’ve got a face you can trust. I don’t have much to say to you, so I
make a great listener. I spend insomnia stricken nights watching NC-17
‚Äúcouples porn”. I practice what they teach. I may be one of the world‚Äôs
greatest kissers. I read poetry; drink scotch and red wine, raise enormous
pints of fine Irish Guinness with my closest friends. I write from my heart.
You will love me for one of these reasons or more. I will hate us both.
Especially you.

I feel Christ’s tears crushing my heart when I didn’t have enough,
booze, hatred, or sex released endorphins pumping thorough me. They are so
heavy with sadness, I won’t answer His calls, I hate His children, indulge
every vice I can afford. I drown each and every bloody tear searching every
bottle for an answer like some bullshit crackerjack prize. I pour over
Hemingway and Bukowski mining for inspiration. I roam every street looking
for death or glory. I am terrified of dying so I careen at break neck speed
for that very destination. Still He calls me. At my weakest most desperate
moments He calls me with a gentle screaming.

I have never been an Atheist, but I have not always loved God, in
truth, I hated God. Along with most of the other things I’ve hated in my
life I didn’t have much reason to hate Him. I was just angry and drunk and
very stupid. I wanted to go so far from God that one day he would either
just snuff me out of existence or appear to me in a blinding light on some
road and I’d be miracled away from my wickedness.

My blinding light came in the form of a very bloody very pink little
boy. The day he was born I hit my knees and attempted to settle all debts
with the One who settled all debts for me. There was no epiphany there; I
spent the next year still a drunken adulterer, but I could feel God working
in my heart hammering away at the parts of me that were choking the fruits
of his work. By September of 2004 after nearly losing my wife and son, not
to mention dodging a dishonorable discharge from the Navy, I found myself at
Kaleo in church for the first time in 8 years. Before I was even welcomed by
the fellowship, I felt welcomed by God. I have now been sober for 7 months
with only God’s grace to keep my thirst at bay. I am compelled to bible
study, in fact here at sea it’s the only thing other than e-mails from my
wife that I look forward to. I am still given to the thoughts and darkness
that nearly destroyed my family and I, but I am not alone. God knows I’m a
fool, a drunk and totally lost without him so he takes care of me now. I see
him working constantly in my life. Our bible study group has grown from 3 to
6 or 10 depending on the day in just a month, and that excites me. The Jason
in the first three paragraphs would spit warm beer all over that excitement,
if it weren’t for God breaking his blackened teeth in.

I am strengthened in Christ. My heart is new, washed clean with the
blood he shed for my madness and sin on the cross. Sometimes I’m even
surprised at my self I can’t believe the words leaving my mouth. I tried to
fill the holes in me with everything I could pour, abuse, or bed, only
because I need to learn the hard way. My Sensi used to say, “pain makes a
believer” he could not be more right. If I hadn’t suffered though all the
pain I caused all around me I may have never truly known how great and
glorious God truly is. I’m not sure what my whole point in this haphazard
assembly of emotion and confession is, I can only say this: I was truly,
truly, lost, dead and only waiting to rot; in 5 months of truly opening my
heart to Christ I have seen and felt changes in my life that could not have
come by any other labor. That almost sounds like an ad for 60-second abs
“Results in just 5 months!!” but I guess I’m advertising for Jesus so it’s
ok.

I want to close to keep this short, but I want to write more about Jesus and how he’s working in me and around me to make me a Jason shaped tool for the service of his kingdom. I’ve already gone over the page I promised David so I’ll eave you with this I was once given to all things but Christ, now I give all things to Christ.

Yours In Christ,

Jason S. Bowe