Ted Baker opened the door, squinted his drowsy eyes, and offered a dry smile. As he adjusted his bathrobe he looked down and asked, “What’s going on Steve?” His tone suggested doom, like you would ask an ambulance driver arriving at the hospital ER, “Who died?”
There’s a lot more to it than that. The Bakers had put up with us, prayed for us, taken us to the hospital, loaned us eggs, and assisted our family out of crisis many times over the past 13 years. In return my family had introduced their children to drugs and the sort of lifestyle they themselves loathed. I gave their son LSD when he was 14.
The last time I met Ted was in August when he walked up to our trailer with annoyed determination on his face. Standing in front of me, surrounded by a 100 or so drunk and stoned partiers, he told me to put away the keg, turn off the music and send my friends home. As he turned away he added, “have this place cleared out in half an hour or I’m calling the cops!”
I shut down the party.
Elizabeth trundled down the stairs behind Ted. She was wondering out loud what the excitement was about and who would visit at midnight. She peeked over Teds shoulder saying with her motherly voice, “Steve and Lynnie, what is happening?”
With no impulse control I blurted out, “I just prayed and gave my life to Christ. I burned my drugs. I asked Jesus to save me from my sin, the evil spirits that bother me, and the terrible fear I feel. I came to you because you know Him.”
“Steve,” Elizabeth said with excitement, “I have been praying for this day for 13 years!” At midnight these two saints welcomed us into their home, had a long talk with us over a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and prayed for the light of Christ to penetrate deeply into my soul.
They told me to get some sleep and first thing in the morning visit First Assembly of God, their home church on Airport Way. Elizabeth explained that they had a new youth pastor named Jeff Wall that would love to meet me and talk about my newfound faith.
When I told them how hard it was to sleep because of the voices and sounds I heard, they prayed fervently that God, in His power, would protect me from evil and help me sleep. They called their friends, their prayer network, and those who knew about my family and I, asking them to join the effort and pray.
I still fought through a restless night when I went home. But the next morning, armed with a sense of calling, the feeling of being loved by God, and new hope for the future, I got back into moms purple station wagon and drove into town to meet Jeff.
I was about to be the answer to Jeff’s prayers too.