Changed Ways

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Isaiah 57:18 – I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him. (NIV)

Davie was a wild, reckless boy who wouldn't accept discipline, deadlines, or duties. He did his own thing, and when I met him, he had turned into a sour, drug-addicted man. He used to shout a lot when he was drunk — and I was quite fearful of him at first. When he came to visit the church manse, drunk and desperate, in the wee small hours of the morning, I was always anxious that he would become violent.

I spent a lot of time with him over several years. He started coming to church, which really pleased his father. He began helping me with the youth group on Sunday nights. He turned up for Bible studies, where he gradually began to learn about God's love.

Davie was an artist, too, so I got him to draw some charcoal pictures for Christmas and Easter. We started a monthly art club at the church, and as the years sped by, we drew some great posters together. God healed him through art and acceptance. His father was really proud when, on Sunday mornings, Davie carried in the lectern Bible to begin worship. The whole church witnessed a remarkable change, and God restored him to the kingdom.

On my last visit to Scotland, I sadly learned that Davie had suddenly died. By the time I reached his hometown, the funeral was already over. I was sorry to hear the news, but I was also thankful that God had managed to do something with his life, and even though it wasn't perfect, it still contained some precious times.

There's a picture of our youth group on my office study wall. It was taken on my last Sunday in Scotland. Davie is standing on my left-hand side, tall and dignified, healed and restored by God. One day, we'll get to see each other again in the heavenly realms — and, who knows, perhaps we'll be found drawing with crayons, making posters for the Lord.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You bring people into our lives and churches to be touched by Your presence and restored through Your love. Thank You for Your power to heal those who are broken, and for Your comfort which strengthens those in need. Be with us today, and prepare us to reach out to those we meet who need encouragement, friendship, and compassion. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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