9.18.2008

This is the correlation of salvation and love, don't drop your arms...


This blog post is a pretty special one, because a couple weeks ago I wouldn't have written one about this person at all. However, things change quickly and dramatically, and I think that is proven in this person's new life.
Brian Burk was one of those people who is horrifically stubborn and tries to find loopholes in everything he is presented with. He would argue and argue and argue until you couldn't say anything except "well, you have all the answers, and I hope you find what you're looking for." Some people worried that he would never find it. It is hard to watch a friend deny the one thing that can save him. It's also hard to watch someone struggle with wanting to feel joy and love and peace, but then refuse to take it when it's offered to him.
Two years went by where I listened to Andrew tell stories about that Brian guy, his friend from school, and how he believed some wacked out stuff, and how Andrew had been talking with him about Christianity vs. whatever it was that Brian believed. As the months went by it started becoming a regular thing, where Brian and Andrew would debate about God. Eventually, these debates started leaking into our regular "wall" time, and sometimes that's all The Wall really was. Sometimes I would muster enough courage to pipe in my opinion, but for the most part I faded into the background and let them hash it out. It was really interesting to see Brian, who seemed to want nothing more than to disprove Christianity, and Andrew, who seemed to want nothing more than to convince Brian that he (Andrew, I mean) was right. Knowing that they enjoyed this and thought it was pretty sweet, I tended not to involve myself much.

After a year and some months (hard to say how many) it became obvious that there was more going on than just a guy with some messed up belief systems and knack for arguing. He had all the answers. There was nothing left to prove. People were praying. Then even later we had run out of evidence to give, and he was starting to ask all the same questions all over again. "He's almost going backwards" I remember someone saying. Maybe it was desperation. I can only speculate. But nevertheless we were worried, and maybe a bit fearful that our hopes were in vain. I think one of the things that several of us learned from the experience was that, in the words of Emery, it's not our job to MAKE anyone believe.

Two years into the debates and the answers to the questions and the prayers and the hopes and the heartbreak, on September 7th, 2008, Brian decided that Christ really was the way, despite his doubts. He gave his life over to the God we had begged him to accept. Not by our arguments or conversations or anything else that we did, but by God's compassion and grace. And now I think he understands.

Brian is, in short, a new person. If you end up talking to him, he is bound to start talking your ear off about some amazing God thing, and he gets so excited that you can't help but be excited too, and you both end up just laughing because that's all that it really comes down to. Joy. He has a joy that he didn't have before. My prayer for Brian is that he lives out his new faith boldly and passionately. That he wouldn't be a seed on the pavement or in the rocks or in the thorns, but that he would grow and be firmly rooted in the Way.

Sincerely,
Mara

4 comments:

  1. Haha I didn't know that picture existed! [/ruffled]

    That was an awsome night. . .you Dickens must upload more pics to facebook. . .

    Anberlin pwns. [/epic]

    So does html. Thanks Mrs. D! *smile* and actions, too!

    When you're blind, life is so much better when your daddy sees for you.

    Does that qualify for random God thing? ;) lol

    To el ppl (or some of you) reading this: Thank you Mara for having a blogger with one of the best playlists of all time! Seriously, like of ALL TIME. EVER.
    Thank you Andrew for being one of my best friends of all time! You never stopped pulling the rope.
    Thank you Cinnamon for being one of the best advice givers and listeners of all time!
    Thanks to all my new Christian friends! And thanks to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and all the angels! I hope you had a good party in the big house the other week :D

    I think the Red cd summarizes this well. . .End of Silence.

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  2. Brian (after listening to Anberlin)Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:08:00 PM

    Hahaha so I guess you weren't lost causes after all :D

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  3. There really isn't any better piece of news anyone can read, ever.

    Brian--I don't know you, sir, but I am nevertheless proud to call you my brother.

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  4. Yay! I pray the same thing. I also pray that Brian gets connected quickly with the Christian men at Simpson. That would be so awesome!

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