A Bulletproof Faith – Sober Reflection
Max’s beer-drinking, girl-chasing lifestyle was as barren as the West Texas land he grew up in. Then he encountered Jesus through a required Bible course at Abilene Christian University. He abruptly shifted from law studies to missions preparation.
After five years in Brazil with his wife, Denalyn, he returned to pastor in the U.S. A collection of storytelling columns written for a church newsletter formed his first book in a long string of best-sellers. Max is pulpit minister of the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio.
What He Said … Sober Reflection
On a dull, drizzly day I visited the wailing wall of a generation: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. With the Washington Monument to my left and the Lincoln Memorial to my back, it stretched before me. Black marble tablets carved with names that read like the roster of a high school football team more than a list of dead soldiers—Walter Faith, Richard Sala, Michael Andrews, Roy Burris, Emmet Stanton. Each name a young life. Behind each name a bereaved widow … an anguished mother … a fatherless child.
It was then that I stopped looking at the names and stared at the monument. I relaxed my focus from the lettering and looked at the tablet. What I saw was sobering. I saw myself, my own reflection. My face looked at me from the shiny marble.
It reminded me that I, too, have been dying as long as I’ve been living. I, too, will someday have my name carved in a granite stone. Someday I, too, will face death.
Adapted from Six Hours One Friday (Multnomah, 1989)