Darkness to Light - Silouette of man praying with mountains in the background | Free Issue of the Nashville Christian Family magazine - Free Christian Magazine


Last month I wrote about Alex, 67, who was physically and emotionally abused as a child, as a young adult…and for many other years.  While searching for meaning and purpose for his life, he drifted into a gay lifestyle along with alcohol/substance addiction.

Being born in the Chicago area…and then living in several other states…he found himself back in The Windy City…still searching.  After a few years, for whatever reason…Alex felt the call to “go West young man”. He returned to The Golden State.

While on a crystal meth high one night, he drove with the intention of crashing into a forest fire to end it all…winding up on Santa Claus Lane. “I do not know how I was able to get there, but I did. Then early the next morning…the sun was about to rise…I either had a dream…or saw a vision…I was not sure which.   Three men dressed in white appeared. Not sure if they were doctors taking me to the looney farm…or…spiritual beings from God to help me get my life together.

“I began scrambling, trying to make sense of what was before me. I stumbled into a nest of bees…getting stung…which helped to bring me down from the high on drugs. This experience caused me to think further about my spiritual condition.”

As everyone knows, the most constant thing in life is “change”. Alex’s life has included almost everything: highs, lows, even marriage…and now a Born-Again Christian.  “My mother and two brothers had moved to Tennessee. I decided to make the move also.”

The power of Darkness soon reared its ugly head again. He sought solace in gay bars in Music City.  He would live at times wearing women’s clothes…then dress as a man. Back and forth…while still lost in a confused world with unanswered questions. 

“One day two young men from the Mormon Church approached and said they wanted to share Jesus with me: giving their literature. More than anything I wanted to be straight. I followed that path for five years as a member of the Latter Days Saints/Mormon Church. I believed that God had a plan for me.”

Alex also believed that the enemy (Satan) was trying to confuse and confound his spiritual journey.  Not totally aware about the meaning of God’s grace or salvation, he thought being a good person included volunteering to a worthy cause. He began at Vanderbilt Hospital. Later, he learned about the new Hope Lodge of The American Cancer Society. He served well, with no financial compensation for 16 years.

Alex has also volunteered time and service to Second Harvest and Room in The Inn…just to mention a few. His generosity earned him the honor of accredited Tennessee Volunteer.

He slowly began to see The Light of Jesus Christ like never before…but the glass was still a little empty. “The emptiness continued to spook me…as I was dressing in women’s clothing once again.”

COVID 19 emerged. The world almost came to a standstill. The time gave Alex a reprieve: reflection on his spiritual and physical health; was told he was headed for mortality because of cancer, HIV and heart disease among others. He saw “the man in the mirror” and asked …what next…what must I do?

While at home and figuratively twiddling his thumbs, Alex realized his life was being wasted. He sought for a clear answer. Even though in the flesh…he was still on the side of the vail…Alex believed that deep in his heart Jesus was calling. He remembered that some visitors at The Hope Lodge had invited him to a Baptist Church.

“I visited the church…and inquired about becoming a member.” A wise pastor at the Church, with a female leader present, explained to Alex about God’s grace and what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.  The seeker responded with an analogy of having a bag of marbles. Alex said, “I want to put all my marbles in God’s basket…but there is one…a large marble I can’t put in that basket.”  He then confessed his former gay lifestyle, alcohol/drug addiction and gender confusion.

Patiently…but while being anchored in God’s Word…the pastor has walked for three years with Alex (now straight as a male) to depend on Divine goodness that comes from belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God…salvation by grace…not just trying to be “good” as humans define the word.

Alex would be the first to confess to being gullible most of his life which led him into darkness (sin). He now is renewed in mind and spirit, standing boldly in The Light. He praises The Lord and says, “I am in love…in love with God’s love for us…proven by His grace…taking me from darkness to Light.”

By: Ralph E. Vaughn

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