• Stefan Youngblood

Hey I do That Too

“Hold on a second. I’m parking my tree.” I had intended to say to the person on the phone, “I’m parking my car under a tree.” A friend later said, “Oh, I do that all the time.”

Reminds me of the C.S. Lewis quote, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

A therapist once told me “You need a few friends with garbage/sins as bad as yours or worse…then you can help one another.” Just after college I moved to Hong Kong to do missions work. One day we had one of those amazing times of worship, where you sensed God’s power and holiness contrasting our wayward lives. Someone had the bright idea that we should kinda confess stuff to God. Sounded like a good idea at the time, till some young college-aged girl stood up broken and crying about stealing a few of someone else’s M&Ms that day. Wow. I’m not belittling her confessional. I’m just saying that as my mental Rolodex searched my heart, I think I probably broke all 10 commandments in one way or another that morning alone.

A few years later, again working as a missionary, I spent what spare time I had diving. I learned one term very well, “Buddy Dives.” You always go under… with someone else. None of this, “I can handle it all by myself,” stuff.  In diving, the first thing you do before going below the surface is to press the button which empties the air from your BCD (Buoyancy Control Device). The BCD is the jacket that holds your tank, and when deflated allows you to descend. Perhaps our “air” is pride or shame, guilt or fear of rejection. I find that a trusted friend, by God’s grace, will always let their air out… along with you. Since the recent loss of my sister, I’ve had an outpouring of support from people who share a similar loss. True friends. The next step in a Buddy dive… equalize. This is the only way to get below 6 feet or so without your head exploding…or something like that. This nose-pinching technique basically releases sinus pressure in the ears. Perhaps in life, “equalizing” is realizing that all of us have difficulties of one type or another. There’s no good sin and bad sin in the eyes of God. It’s all just as forgivable by His relentless mercy. 

Buddy dive, empty the air out your BCD, then equalize, and watch and see what light can do in the deep dark places of your heart. It’s there that I often hear the words of Christ, “Stefan, I will never leave you.” Or, “Where are your accusers?” Neither do I accuse you. Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.” 

Thinking back, my nearest to death experience came on a solo dive off a very deep wall in St Croix. The undercurrent pulled me out to sea. My friend, don’t try and live another moment dealing with the challenges of life alone. “I came that you might have life, and life abundant.” ~ Jesus

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