I was just a child in the faith, and I hardly understood anything. The bare minimum — that’s it. I was a rugged man with many addictions: gambling, alcohol, and murder. Nobody wanted to help me. I was so raw and rugged, and I had murdered quite a few people.
My ruggedness pushed everyone away. I was friendless and jobless, and even if I had wanted to get a job, my applications would be shredded almost immediately because of my raw, burly nature, as well as the murders. I was completely and utterly on my own.
I slept in an old bear carcas for months and ate weeds and grass for meals. My clothes were made out of tree bark. I couldn’t count on anyone, and God was in the picture, yes, but He was distant and cold. God, to me, was a lot like Steve Harvey, the host of Family Feud. He basically just told the people behind the scenes to reveal the top answers on a big sign for everyone to see. To me, God was not rugged. Maybe he didn’t want me, and I was okay with that. I’m a rugged, sturdy, raw man. I had survived on my own.
Then he stepped in and everything changed. He patiently discipled me. I began to understand my incredible limitations and my desperate need for Christ, not just for justification, but my day-to-day walk as well. He taught me what it means to be a man: I don’t have to be a brawny and a raw man with all kinds of addictions including murder. I can make moisture come out of my eyes from time to time.
After three years of meeting with him regularly, I was ready to do ministry of my own. I went to seminary and got a pastoral job in Georgia. I got married and we started having rugged and raw kids immediately.
Then I got a text from someone I had never met, and my whole life fell apart:
My head began to spin. Who am I? Why do I exist. My life is ruined. He seemed so nice and cordial, and I had told him my deepest secrets.
I couldn’t have reached this place in life without him, and, now, I don’t know if I can ever trust again.
Now I am here. Devastated. Raw and rugged.