Crucify the Life of God in Us
by Sam Williamson
Ten years ago I met a mother in anguish
because her smart, capable son was living in an
abandoned house, playing reggae music on the
streets, and panhandling when the busking money
fell short. He bathed irregularly and communicated
After he graduated from high school, his mom
enrolled him at Stanford while he took the summer
off to hitchhike around America. He rarely called,
so when it came time to register for fall classes,
she chose them for him.
After three weeks, her son dropped out of Stanford
and began busking and house-squatting.
I met his mother a couple of years after he began
his street life, and his mother was desperate. She
begged me for ideas. I suggested she call him and
ask how he is doing. She plotted, “Oh, so then I
can bring him home and re-enroll him in classes.”
“No, just to engage with him on a personal level.
No pressure for anything. No agenda!”
“Oh yes, of course, that makes sense, so he’ll
come home and enroll himself in school!”
“No, just ask him questions like, ‘What do
you like about reggae music?’ and ‘What’s it like
to live in an abandoned house?’”
“So I can figure out what’s wrong with him and fix
“No, talk with him simply so you can get to know
who he is as a person; just for himself.”
She snapped, “What good will that do?”
A Season of
I feel as though I’m in an unproductive season:
the church I serve is struggling, a ministry I
help is suffering, and my writing feels like the
discordant music of an un-tuned orchestra, playing
for an untrained conductor, in an echo-chamber.
Even my golf game (which this summer was the best
it’s ever been) recently began to look like a
six-year-old playing field hockey with a mop
handle. It’s objectively horrible.
In my seeming unfruitfulness of life, I keep
asking God questions: “Why this? Why not? Why me?
What should I do? What should I stop
doing? What’s a good plan?”
My prayers are petitioned with uncommonly
My bizarre conversation with that distraught
mother happened Friday night, April 17th, 2009. It
occurred exactly as described. I even wrote it
down immediately afterward because this impersonal
mother seemed so mercenary with her agenda. And
then I forgot about it.
Yesterday morning, I overheard someone quote Psalm
1. It promises that the person who delights in
God’s word, and meditates on it day and night,
will “prosper in all that he does.”
I thought, “Oh, if I just study Scripture more,
then people will donate to that good ministry.”
An hour later I read, “Whoever abides in me and I
in him, he it is that bears much fruit” (John
15:5b). I thought, “Oh, I get it; if I seek God
for himself, then church attendance will
And something in my spirit felt God sigh.
Just before dinner, a friend emailed me a quote
from Oswald Chambers: “The lasting value of
our public service for God is measured by the
depth of our intimacy with Him.” I sensed
God say, “Just spend time with me, no hidden
agenda, nothing mercenary; just to know me
better.” And the tiniest of thoughts raced through
“What good will that do?”
P. S. Jesus came to earth to bring us back into a
relationship with God; so we can grow in intimacy
with him; so we can hear his voice. And every
relationship is built on conversation. (Husbands:
just ask your wives!).
To grow in that divine dialogue, please read,
Hearing God in Conversation.
Sam Williamson has published
numerous articles and has written two books.
He has a blog site, www.beliefsoftheheart.com,
and can be reached at
God in Conversation: How to Recognize
His Voice Everywhere, by Samuel C.
Williamson, published by Kregel
Publications, 2016, available from Amazon
photo of carefree young guy with guitar,
BigStock.com Photo ID: 204504598
Copyright: Wayhome Studio