There is a story of a man who died and was being interviewed before he entered the next phase of existence. The interviewer asked, “Tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.” The man then recited with enthusiasm and exactness the details of His life. He spoke of his birth, life, ministry and death. The interviewer then said, “Thank you for your answer. Everything you said is correct. Now, tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.” The man seemed confused, paused a moment, then began to elaborate on the finer points of His teachings. Again, his answers were precise and accurate – he didn't miss one detail. At the conclusion of the interview the man being interviewed was thanked and gently escorted out of the room. As the man was leaving he passed another person about to be interviewed and as the door was closing he turned to see this other person fall to his knees and say, “My Lord, my God.”

I don't know who wrote that original story, and I have paraphrased it the best I remember, but I believe it draws an important distinction between knowing about God and actually knowing Him. 

Some resist the notion there is a God, that humans are a biological anomaly in the vast universe. Others say God and Heaven are imaginary constructs for weak-minded people. A great many believe there is more to life than meets the eye – they don’t know what, or who, why or how … they just sense there is more and they follow their impressions the best they know how. The vast religious landscape, in all its forms, seems to speak loudly that human's sense there is more. And more there certainly is.

To those who say they don't know of God lives, I understand. I have been there and have made a journey from that very place. On my own journey of the soul I have come to understand knowing God requires an ongoing conversation. For me, I have come to understand that not only must I speak with Him, more importantly I must learn to listen. He understands me better than I understand me. I had an experience about 22 year ago – and perhaps one day I may share it. But what I can say with certainty is we are not alone – and we are numbered and known. 

There is a great saying that reads, “We talk about finding God as if He could get lost.” I have found He was never hiding from me – nor was He lost. Rather I realized I simply wasn't looking or that I was too afraid to see. I was lost in myself. 

The last 22 years have changed me. Years of trying, studying, stumbling, talking, listening and then doing have changed me from the inside out. It didn't’ happen overnight, nor should it … because nothing worthwhile comes easily. I am still deeply flawed. I am human. But notwithstanding my weaknesses today, I am not the same person I was when I was younger – for I see life with new eyes. 

Yet with all that I have come to know about God, and that He lives, I still hurt. Knowing doesn't keep my heart for aching. The truth is I miss my son terribly. There isn't a day that I don’t cry for him and there are times I experience tremendous panic that my little boy is gone. Death is hard. The death of a child is the most terrible of sorrows, beyond anything I could ever imagine or have ever known; for it stings and cuts deeply and has shaken my very soul. But despite those whirlwinds of grief and sorrow, I have a deep and abiding assurance that I will see my son again. And when I do I will weep a broken father’s tears. And in my brokenness I know I will be made whole. That is the promise of my Father and His Son. 

Mitchell’s life and death, along with my own sojourn, has been a deep journey of the soul. It has broken me and sent me to my knees, bruised and weary with grief. But like a wise doctor of the soul, what God has broken wasn't meant to hurt me, but to reset my spiritual bones and strengthen my belief. 

To paraphrase what a wise man once said, lest there be any confusion where I stand in my relationship with God and Jesus Christ, I don’t stand. I kneel.