As Jeff and Brighton were driving home from the first Sunday morning meeting of the new church plant, B told Jeff he felt he had done something wrong. When Jeff realized it wasn’t something he needed to confess from the morning but something bigger, something heavier, he dug in a little more. That “something” that we have all felt. That “wrong”- that “body of death” we lug around at one time or another. (Romans 7:24) Brighton’s spirit was reaching out for freedom, for relief. He was searching for a way out. He took his need to his Daddy.
Jeff realized B’s thoughts may be the remorse for sin for which we had been waiting. He told Jeff of his dream from the night before that he was a “bandit” and that he didn’t want to be a “bandit”. That was sort of a funny word to me but I got it. As soon as our lunch company left, Jeff gathered Brighton up on the couch and led him through a trusty tract with visuals for B’s sake. Even in these pregnant moments of Brighton’s broken reading of God’s Word and his eagerness to answer the questions, we sensed a struggle. We both could see it on his face. He had questions about God becoming his “boss” and was that “hard” and what was it like when Jeff made Jesus boss and when I did it? He said he was scared-- and on the inside, he fought. All Jeff and I could do was sit on the couch, watch his personal turmoil, pray and wait. This was a fight he’d have to win all by himself. It was real and he couldn’t do it. And he didn’t.
He chose to draw. A boy on the brink.
After dinner, he and Julia got their pajamas on. Brighton came downstairs, straight to the den and announced, “I am ready to do it! See my face? Can’t you tell?” He crawled up on the couch between us and answered a couple of key questions quickly because he was READY to pray. I heard the sweetest sounds since Julia prayed the same relinquishing, inviting prayer a few years ago. Joy. Relief. Thankfulness. “Amen”. Ginormous grin, calls for Julia, big hugs and a little bit of dancing! He leapt off the couch jumping, holding fists above his head and yelling, “This is the day! This is the day!”
At bedtime, the first time he had opportunity to obey, he did and said, “That’s what Jesus does for you. He helps you obey first time!” And then as Jeff tucked his new brother in Christ under his red quilt, Brighton said he was excited about seeing all of us in heaven one day. And as early as yesterday, I was able to see fruit from his “new self” as his bad choice led to repentance in a completely different way. It came quicker and it came hard. With his arms around my waist and face buried in my stomach, he cried and choked out the words. My forgiveness calmed him easier than usual and we went on with our day.
Absolutely simple but absolutely life changing.
This is the day he JUMPED!