As that second-born who always had to try harder to "measure up", I did a lot of things that I am embarrassed by now, and things I am absolutely ashamed of.
When Pamela and I were dating, through the prayers of her Great Aunt and the witness of a friend, she was born again. It didn't have any great effect on me. I loved her, but He didn't love me. Regular church attendance and even church involvement did not change my feelings toward God. If Jesus really was who He said He was, He still didn't die for me.
Following a sudden death in Pamela's family in 1978, my in-laws pastor was sitting in the grass beside me. A man who had been a pastor for years sat with tears streaming down his cheeks and said "I haven't got a clue what I can do for Chuck, but when I find out, I'll be right here to do it." What was it that made a man love like that? I knew it was God, but this was a preacher, and he was supposed to be loved by God. But it had a profound effect on my spirit.
And all the while, Pamela's Great Aunt was praying...
Not long after, a rotund Englishman named Eddie Smith came to preach at our church. Pamela & I had never heard of him, and before church she had put a roast in the oven on the timer for our dinner. Little did we know that Brother Eddie usually preached for at least an hour and a half! He taught from Exodus, about Bezaleel and his family and the meaning of their names, and the Holy Spirit got through to me that morning. While Pamela was stewing about her bound-to-be-crispy roast, I was so overwhelmed by the love of God that I couldn't move out of my seat! And the prayers of that Great Aunt were answered that morning.
The change has been dramatic. I'm not the man I want to be, but I'm far from the person I was. And I know that know that I know that no matter what, God loves me, and He loves you, too. For I am Convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
- Jay Smith
Jay went to be with the Lord in 2003, after a battle with Cancer