Wineskins Archive

December 8, 2013

Why I’m Still Here (May 2012)

Filed under: — @ 2:08 pm and

By Nick Gill

Love is why I’m still here.<br><br>When I was homeless in Nashville in the fall of 1993, Love (conveyed by the communities of Lipscomb University and the West End Church of Christ) took me in.

When I was hopeless in the spring in 1994, Love (conveyed by the preaching of Jeff Walling) convicted me – captured me – immersed me.

When I failed – again and again and again – Love (conveyed by a thousand different kinds of forgiveness) lifted me.

Love gave this orphan a family – mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, even crazy uncles and distant cousins. A wife, too – who has incarnated the toughness and bottomlessness of grace unto me in ways that words alone would fail to honor.

Love gave this lover of stories his own story to tell.

Love gave this lover of words a language with which to tell it – a framework of words and phrases and acronyms that can’t be understood “separate and apart from” its culture.

Love gave this loner space, here among the churches of Christ, to wrestle with His angels and my demons – space I never could find in other traditions.

Love gave me a mentor – a man who sat down next to me and said, “Son, you can do this. Let me show you how.”

The Love that gave me EVERYTHING that matters in my life – Love planted me here. My roots are deep enough to handle storms that have gnarled some of my branches. My leaves are rich and green, fed by His blessed Spirit – may they always grant shade to the weary. This is a good place. I know there are rocks, but we’ll move them. I know there are patches where nothing will grow – even they can be fed and strengthened.

I’m here because Love planted me here – and I stay because Love stayed with me.

“You don’t throw a whole life away just because it’s banged up a little bit.” – Tom Smith, Seabiscuit

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