The speaker described how he endured a most horrific plane crash and fire. His burns were so serious that portions of his skin were hanging free. After three years, he is still recuperating. However, he regards the entire experience as a great “blessing,” which he would not exchange for anything. Through it, he perceived the beauty of life – “gratefulness, forgiveness, and grace.”
Meanwhile, he has returned to teaching and to the meditation center, which he manages. After his talk, I approached him:
- You’ve learned some valuable lessons. You’ve learned about grace, gratitude, and forgiveness. As a Christian, I cannot help seeing my Savior in what you have described and learned. Do you feel that you’ve had an encounter with Deity?
He smiled and acknowledged that it’s possible. However, he then added something that really surprised me. He gently and graciously explained that it didn’t matter how he interpreted his experience. Instead, the important thing was the experience and the lessons he took away from it.
In my mind, it was like receiving a beautiful gift with a card, which he discarded, as if it didn’t matter from whom the gift came. Would he have said, “The gift is the important thing and not the card or the giver?” Of course not, but this was what he was saying about the gift he had just received.
I shared this with him and suggested that he needed to explore the origins of his gift - who sent it to him. He asked, “How would I do that?” I told him that he needed to pray about it and quoted Jesus’ words:
- "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
I felt that such advice was appropriate, but I also felt the curtain going down on our conversation. He had no intention of praying or seeking the identity of his Benefactor. But why wouldn’t he? Perhaps he intuitively knew that the answer might place restrictions on his life. Would he be able to continue with his own philosophy of life? His meditation center? His friends? His respect within his community? Who wants such restrictions placed on their lives! No one!
Who could blame him? I couldn’t! Besides, it wouldn’t do any good. Nevertheless, before God, he remains blameworthy. God had called his name, “blessed” him, shook him out of life’s stupor, but he refused to come into the light. Instead, he chose darkness – a refusal to see beyond the gift that had God’s name written all over it. I can only pray for him.