David Marshall Kealy
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.“
Proverbs 22:6 NASB
Often over the years I have quoted preachers and friends who have been an influence on my life. Perhaps it is about time I share something by one of our sons, Dwight. He writes about a personal journey. His personal faith journey as follows:
Recently I have come to think about my understanding of God as we think about colors. The color spectrum is infinite—as is God—but we label the spectrum with different color names so that we can discuss the infinite.
I grew up in a committed Evangelical Christian home. In kindergarten I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered, “A Christian or an ambulance driver.” My parents tried to explain that I could be both. I was not convinced. I knew Christianity like I knew the color blue. Blue was a thick wax crayon that left its mark across the coloring books, papers, or on whichever wall I might drag it. I knew blue.
I was looking at study abroad programs in high school and one day my dad asked me, “How would you like to study abroad and live at home?” What did he mean? How was this possible? It turns out that my parents had always thought about being missionaries. Six months later we were on a plane to Ecuador where I ended up graduating from high school. In this experience I learned more about my faith like we learn more about the color blue. There is blue before the dark storm clouds and blue in a clear sky at noon. God loves us. And God is good.
There was a great pastor in Ecuador. I learned much from him about the Bible. I also learned through his daughter that he was a pastor in Ecuador because he had had an affair with the church secretary at his former congregation back in the Midwestern United States. Evidently his wife decided it was a good time for the family to become missionaries in South America. There is blue that is azure and aqua. Closer to darkness there is cobalt and navy. There is sin. There is forgiveness. And God has a plan.
I was a religious studies major at Westmont. I did graduate work in Archaeology in Israel with Harvard and earned my Master’s Degree in Religion from Yale. This is like becoming an expert in blue and spending all my time with people who know the difference between indigo and lapis lazuli. One time we heard someone call the sky blue when we all knew it was really cerulean, and we laughed. With education and experience it is easy—and common—to become increasingly critical in describing the world around us. How else do we describe a blue except to distinguish it from other blues? Certainly one blue must be better and one must be worse than the other, and by stating this, one can establish himself as the experienced, lonely, expert of blues. At times we discussed God like serious wine-tasters describing wines. We look at the hue. We smell it. We loudly sip it, swirl it in our mouths, hold it on our tongue for a moment…and then spit it out. God is real and exists not just to be discussed or tasted, but to indwell in our bodies and change our lives.
I heard that there was no God. It was like hearing there was no blue. I checked. I scooped up the blue sea in my hands. It dripped through my fingers, clear. I grabbed at the sky. It slipped through my fingers without leaving a stain. Doubts. But even on cloudy days I know the sky is blue. This faith comes from a history of trust. As a child in church we would sing, “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er…O for grace to trust Him more.” I trust in God and he has proved that he is faithful over and over.
I heard that the reason is economic. It takes too much time, money, and effort to make a wrapper for each color. At some point we decide, for laziness or economy, that we understand the infinite well-enough. We wrap a label around it and stop.
And so, I tell you now, “The sky is blue and God is faithful, just, and loves us.” I know that sounds simple, but don’t laugh. It’s true. I have argued about the shade and saturation. I have waited for clouds to pass and the dawn to come. I have trusted in Jesus, and he has proved himself to me over and over again.
1 Timothy 1:12 is a life verse that led to our creating Reaching People far from God
David M. Kealy