This is the second in our “Getting to Know You” series featuring CES team members. Phil Wade is a valued CES editor and writer.
I know the Lord brings us to himself in many different ways, some of them quite remarkable, but I’ve always thought my story of salvation is a bit unique—perhaps a bit American too.
I grew up in a Christian family. My dad has almost always lived around Chattanooga, Tennessee. My mom grew up near Lima, Peru, as a missionary kid. In the seventies, they joined several families from their church inside the Chattanooga city limits to start a new one on Hwy. 58. That’s where I learned to worship with others, memorize the Westminster catechism, and taste coffee for the first time (I wasn’t ready for the coffee).
My mom got involved with Reach Out Ranch, which has since become Precept Ministries, and took me to children’s Bible studies in their big red barn. I don’t know how many classes I attended, and I vaguely remember the room and the teachers, but all of that instruction taught at least one thing: Christians were different because the Holy Spirit transformed them.
That difference struck me as significant during my seventh summer on earth. A few small things happened. A few things were said—I don’t remember—but I concluded from these things that all my friends had become Christians, and if I was going to have any fun with them, I needed to become one too. Christians had different kinds of fun, I thought. So on the ride home from the ranch one day, I told my mom that I recognized my need to surrender to Christ. Would she help me become a Christian? She was overjoyed to help, and we prayed in her bedroom several minutes later.
I found out later that summer my friends had not become believers, but it was too late for me. My heart and mind had been changed. It’s funny that my childishly mixed motives were not a barrier to receiving Christ as my Lord and Savior. The Lord has saved many people with self-centered intentions and answered many self-centered prayers. Praise his name. He is more gracious than I can understand even today.
I hope to focus on the wonder and beauty of our Lord and his creation in whatever I write and edit, though I doubt that I do. I get caught up in the cares of the world easily. Still, if there’s anything truth in what Dostoevsky said about beauty saving the world, I want to find it.
I have worked as a wordsmith in different capacities for many years but never full-time until this year. I was employed as a graphic designer for thirteen years and spent the last few years of that job editing videos. Learning new software has never been a problem for me, but words enthralled my heart years ago, leaving me discontented with other arts.