Brian Welch was promoting his new book, Stronger: Forty Days of Metal and Spirituality. Beyond the long dark braids that covered his scalp, beyond the dark eyeliner, beyond the multi-colored tattoos that covered his arms, there was a light in his eyes as he recited words from the Scriptures and shared his personal testimony from when he turned his life over to Jesus. I was so amazed by his story that I went on Amazon and ordered his book. I had to read it. Turns out he's written several books. Turns out he's got some amazing things to say.
Now, before I lose some of my incredibly conservative readers, I'm not saying that you should order the book and read it. It's not for everyone. He talks a lot about his experiences with drugs and alcohol and his life as a rocker. But what amazes me the most about what I've read thus far is his transparency. He's so open about where he's been, how empty and lost he felt during those times though he was on top of the entertainment world, and how Jesus has rescued him from his personal prison of drug and alcohol addiction. He is an amazing witness to a segment of the population that a ton of stuffy, suit wearing, crew cut sporting Christians just can't reach effectively. In fact, I would rather hear a testimony like his than of that stuffy one I just mentioned above. There's something in the story of redemption from a life further gone than mine that makes me feel more hopeful. Is that twisted thinking? I don't know... maybe. But in hearing how low he's been, it makes me more confident that I can be redeemed. And I think that's just human nature.
Reading the book has also added fuel to my flame, to my desire to be a witness, for my longing to finish my story and get it out there, to the hope that lives within me for my written words to someday demonstrate God's love and mercy to all who read them. I am not banking on sitting along side Pat Robertson on the TV anytime soon - not so sure I would ever want to. He kinda creeps me out a little. I may or may not go to hell for actually saying and thinking that about Pat Robertson, but you should all know I try to be honest here. Back to the point... I want to use what I've got, my experiences, my life, my mistakes, to honor God. Brian Welch continues to do so, and I am amazed. Amazed and challenged.