At a recent Lumunos Men’s retreat, I asked the question “Have you ever been saved by God?” Not in the altar call, conversion, ask Jesus-in-to-your-heart-and-he-will-save-you-from-your-sins kind of way. I meant more like an answer to the cry of the Psalmist:
Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me. (Ps. 69)
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect—I had never asked this question before on a retreat. I wasn’t even sure how I would answer it. But the guys jumped in with lots of responses that touched me deeply.
A few told stories about being in the grip of addiction. For them, God’s help came in the form of someone inviting them to an AA meeting. One man talked about the death of his 12 year old son. In the midst of his grief, a mom in church simply invited him to hold her infant son. Healing came as he and the baby locked their eyes on each other. Most of the stories involved a combination of acts of caring and compassion by fellow humans, the timing of which was more than just coincidence. It was, as I once heard it put, more like a ‘God-incidence.’
I am probably not quite ready to get a “Jesus Saves” bumper sticker for my car. But after hearing these stories, I am more convinced that he does. More often than not, through a person responding to a nudge, calling or intuition.
“God is hiding in the world. Our task is to let the divine emerge from our deeds.” ~ Abraham Heschel, I Asked for Wonder