Thursday, June 16, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter Two, The Note

Like Those Who Dream: Chapter Two, The Note
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow


The confidence we have,
The trust we hold,
The hope we carry,
Rest in His faithfulness.


Following the night of August 15th, I settled into an uneventful schedule of attending classes and studying. The glamour of apartment life, away from home and on my own in the world, was quickly fading. I looked for ways to get invited to my mom’s house for a home cooked meal, or an opportunity to sink my teeth into the huge corned beef and pastrami sandwiches that she would pick up at Eddies’, the Jewish Kosher Deli around the block from her apartment.

All too often, I didn’t have enough money to visit a restaurant or shop for the ingredients needed to make a decent meal. My low point came the day I searched every inch of the kitchen to find something to eat. The only thing I could find was an old onion hidden in a dark corner under the kitchen sink. I reached in a grabbed it, peeled off the brown outer layers of skin and proceeded to eat it like an apple. I somehow managed to get it down, juice and all, but the aftertaste and aftereffects stayed with me for weeks.

My life as a new believer in Jesus Christ was going nowhere. I didn’t read my Bible, I knew of no church to attend and I was not acquainted with other believers. I was like a seed that had been planted but lacked the sunshine and the moisture to grow. However, there was one major change that took me quite by surprise. One day, while in my apartment, I was shocked to discover that I was no longer swearing. This was an amazing discovery to someone who freely let every imaginable profanity and vulgarity come out of his mouth whenever it seemed fitting to do so. “How could this be?” I wondered.

I was not on any self-improvement program to clean up my speech, and I hadn’t had my mouth washed out with soap since my mother caught me swearing when I was nine years old. It was my first indication of God’s amazing power to change a life. I was being cleaned up from the inside.

My sluggish progress as a Christian might have continued indefinitely if it hadn’t been for a handwritten note that came to our apartment mailbox in the early fall of that year. That perfectly timed note, as simple as it was, would change everything.

The note contained one short sentence, “How are you coming in your new found faith?” It was signed “Dad.” It was the first communication between us since my visit to his home a month earlier.

As I read the note, I was reminded of a brief conversation we had before I headed home on the freeway the night we knelt together by his couch…

“How will I tell my mom what I’ve done? I think it might kill her.”

Sensing my reluctance to speak about Christ, he immediately replied, “Let’s pray about it and ask God to prepare the way and the time for you to go see her.”

I agreed and we shared a brief time of prayer together. Before I left, my dad shared another Scripture with me, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

Those words came to me with tremendous penetrating power. Like a homing pigeon, it entered into my innermost being and lodged there. Along with it, came the reality that if anyone from my family ever asked me if I believed in Jesus Christ I would have to confess that I did. However, I also determined that I was not about to volunteer the information to anyone.

Without giving it much thought, I folded the note and stuffed it into the back pocket of my Levis. That night, while getting ready for bed, I threw the Levis into our dirty clothes basket—I didn’t realize that Don was planning on washing our clothes at the Laundromat the following day. When I got up the next morning I found a clean pair of Levis, got dressed, ate what I could find in the fridge and headed out the door for classes. I was gone the entire morning; when I returned home in the afternoon, Don was waiting for me…

“I want to ask you something,”

“Sure,” I responded.

“When you went to Dad’s house last month for a visit, what happened?”

I froze in my place.

His eyes looked straight at me and his face demanded an answer.

Pressing the issue he continued, “Did you make some kind of spiritual decision?”

There it was! The question I hoped I would never hear.

“Why do you ask?” I quickly answered, playing dumb.

“I was doing laundry today and while I was cleaning out your pants I came across a note written by Dad. What did he mean when he said ‘Your new found faith?’”

I knew I had to answer. I knew I was being challenged to confess Christ before men for the first time as a believer, but could I do it? My thoughts raced back and forth. Finally, in a very roundabout way, almost apologetically, I finally got to the point, “Yes, I prayed with Dad that night and I became a believer in Jesus Christ.”

I do not remember my brother’s reaction to my words. At that moment, I was caught up with what was happening within me. It was a though a cork had been pulled from a bottle and the contents began pouring out. I didn’t fully realize all that was happening at that moment, but from that point on my Christian life took off. What my brother, or anyone else in our family thought or felt about my decision to follow Jesus Christ wouldn’t hold me back.

I had prayed that the Lord would prepare the time and the way for me to talk with my mother about my new-found faith. She was a very kind and understanding person, a good listener and easy to be with, but I also knew that since she and my dad had divorced, my mother had wanted me to keep away from what my dad believed. One fall afternoon, I knew it was God’s time to meet with her. We sat down together in her apartment and I opened up my heart and shared with her what I now believed and how my life had changed. I didn’t talk long, it wasn’t necessary. A few words said a lot! She listened intently but sadly. When I finished she remained silent. She didn’t get angry, and she didn’t reject me. Even though it wasn’t what she wanted to hear, I knew she would never close the door to our relationship.

#dayspring #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #likethosewhodream #memoir #roylessinmemoir #dayspringcofounder #messianicjew 

©2022 DaySpring, used with permission. ©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. All rights reserved.

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