Brad Bellmore Gets a Life – 14
I recently had a flashback to the first conference I ever coordinated many years ago. The church I worked for at the time held conferences on a regular basis and part of my job involved making them happen. The first focused on people under 25. Since many churches disregarded people that age as not mature enough to lead, we decided to invest in them, to develop them since it seemed to be a time when many people had frequent sense of calling, a sense that God had big plans for them. Why not nurture and encourage that?
That was the environment where one of the worship bands closed their session with “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The audience clapped and stomped along as they sang. It revved me up. Inspired, I found my pastor who was the speaker for the final session and told him the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the stomping, “you are listening to the sounds of the Army of God marching on the gates of Hell.” He then related that to the full 300 people in the audience.
The flashback came when I heard that song on the radio. Immediately I was back in that old church listening to the army of God marching on the gates of Hell and I was moved. Then I remembered a paper I wrote in college about how Aragorn faced the gates of Hell three times throughout the Lord of the Rings. When I wrote the paper, it mostly came from a desire to grow up and be like Aragorn, to be a hero that rises up and leads. At the time of my flashback, I felt closer to Stryder, the lost and broken wayfarer trying his best to make something of life but far from the king he was meant to be.
My unemployment and depression held me in a place far away from where I had hoped to be. Far, far away from what I once thought I was supposed to be. I longed to get back to where I wanted to be, to be part of the army marching against the gates of Hell. In the movie of the Lord of the Rings, there is a point when Gandalf tells Aragorn that Sauron (the top bad guy, the embodiment of evil) feared Aragorn; he feared what Aragorn was becoming. I thought about that as I sat in my car listening to U2. Did anyone fear what I had become? Did Hell? Or had I simple become another tired joke for them?
For the last few weeks since that experience, I am trying to find my way back to my feet and get back to marching. That event is part of what inspired this blog. I am searching for my life in attempts to find me. If I find me, I want to get back on the road toward Hell. A long, long time ago, I saw a tee shirt with the slogan, “Born Again to Raze Hell.” I didn’t get it at the time. If I can come alive again, razing Hell will matter again. If I find my way there, then I will be someone that hell fears.
Hopefully there will be an army of us.