5 May

Meet Dave, a Kona local and my dear friend. Dave is the owner of Artistic Creations, a tattoo and piercing parlor about a stone’s throw from campus. I met Dave while browsing around the local shops on one of my evening strolls downtown with my roommate Lindsay. As an artist myself, I am always inspired by the art created by others and I popped in to see his work. Very quickly into our conversation I realized he had formed some opinions about us “young, overzealous Christians.”

And he was right. Often times we, as believers, get too excited about sharing the Gospel that our lives often look like a first grade “show-and-tell”. We can’t contain the enthusiasm we have for the Gospel and how the Lord has healed our hearts and freed us from our own addictions that sometimes we forget to listen. We know that our God is for everyone, and each of His creations is priceless in His sight, but we forget that our God is not “one size fits all”. Our approach must fit our audience.

Dave had had enough of us young Christians marching into his shop to tell him about the Lord. He just wanted someone to plop down on his couch and listen to his story, and at the very core of our beings that’s what we all want – to be heard.

And when we listened, we were amazed. Beneath his rough exterior Dave had hidden his warm and welcoming heart. He had merely become guarded, like many of us have in our own lives, after far too many years being tossed about by life.

Dave grew up in a highly legalistic Christian home, constantly being told what he could and could not eat, wear, do, say, and even believe. Sick of it all, he finally rebelled, determined to live the life of freedom and independence he always longed for. Sadly, he was looking in the wrong place. He turned to a wild lifestyle of chemical dependence and alcoholism. Christians had hurt him, and he wanted nothing to do with God. What he failed to realize was that the freedom he sought could be found in Christ alone.

Dave is married now, and though he has drastically toned down his partying ways, he still makes every effort possible to rebel against any kind of authority or structure in his life, causing him to get into spats with people left and right.

Last Tuesday, during our weekly community outreach time, we stopped in to say hello to Dave. I laid my hands on him and prayed for him. It wasn’t anything fancy, filled with eloquent religiosity, but it was just what he needed to hear.

We stop in and say hello to our dear friend about three or four times per week now, and he absolutely loves us – even though we are overzealous Christians. More importantly, he is starting to believe that we love him. And if we could love him, couldn’t God love him too?

I thank God every night for my friend Dave, and for directing my path to him. He may not know it, but Dave has strengthened my faith in God and in His unconditional love for His children. I am so humbled that God would even consider using me to advance His Kingdom and share His love. I look forward to being a tool in His hands all the days of my life.


3 Responses to “Dave”

  1. Laura May 6, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    Awesome Erika! I enjoyed reading this. I’ve shared a lot of the same thoughts about what Christianity is to me and what it can look like to others.

  2. La Vonne Earl May 13, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Say hello to Dave for me and let him know he has a friend in California too!

  3. Christine June 1, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    Such a sweet story and so very true! Thanks fir sharing it!!

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