I wonder what I would be without Christ alive in me, without his way of seeing, without his loving, unique individuality. With his star not in my soul, what would make my being whole? I’d not know and I’d not care as I lived alone, apart, that there was no higher goal.
I spent the first half of my life believing that Christ was not Person but Principle, that Jesus was a Way-shower but not a Way-helper. My life became lonelier and lonelier and hugely burdened. So I don’t need to wonder what it would be like “without Christ,” without the companionship of the Lord. I’ve experienced it.
When I first began looking for a way out of my despair (although I wouldn’t have recognized it as that at the time), I was drawn to a denominational poem called “Teach Me to Love” (Louise Hovnanian, 1908). In so many ways, this poem put my struggle and my yearning into words. “O Saviour,” it prayed, “Help me to feel…Help me to seek.”
Another pivotal moment occurred in a commuter train station. I was talking to a new friend who had been raised within the same denominational believing I was. But I blurted out anyway, “You know, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is more to Christ than we have learned.” Her response surprised me. Her eyes lit up, and she said, “Exactly.”
Regardless of where we are or of what we embrace or believe, the Saviour will find ways to reach us, now or later than now. Although the changes in me didn’t seem very significant at any given point, I was gradually being drawn to the personhood of Christ, the living Lord who walks by my side and who moves the heavy burden from my shoulder to his.
The dramatic encounter that eventually happened was not a culmination of my search but rather a beginning—the beginning of a vibrant life filled with the daily company and comfort of my Saviour and Friend. What I’ve come to realize is that the unique individuality of each human being finds its full expression in Christ, who is himself a unique individual—and Lord of all.