A Love Letter To My LORD

A Love Letter To My LORD
by Damainion L. Ewell

My Dearest LORD,

I am not sure where to begin, or what to even say at the time of this letter. To be perfectly honest, I do not know what to even call You. You have so many names that carry so many different meanings, depending on what situation I am faced with at the moment. When I am broke and clinging on to my last dime, I call You Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD my provider. When I am sick and clinging on to my last breath, I call You Jehovah-Ropheka, the LORD my healer. When utter HELL and chaos is front and center in my life, I call You Jehovah-Shalom, the LORD my peace. When I begin to curse and come out of character, I call You Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the LORD my righteousness. When I am in a sin-ridden existence and have nothing but darkness to befriend me, I call You Jehovah-Mekaddishkem, the LORD my sanctifier.

But, for the purposes of this letter, I will call You LORD and drop all of the formalities.

I can remember when we first met. I will not do myself the injustice of asking if You can remember that night, because it is plainly obvious that You set up the meeting. It was December 14th, 2004. It was way past midnight, although I am not sure of the hour. Before we get into the circumstances behind our meeting, I can vaguely remember numerous occasions where You tried to introduce Yourself to me. Please forgive me for all the doors that I closed in Your face and the times where I stood You up. I think the first real encounter I ever had with You was in the fourth grade. I was a bad, little nappy-headed joker, was I not? I bet You had many days where You slapped Your knees wondering what in the heck was wrong with me! Anyway, my teacher called me “a gangster in the making” in front of the entire class because I wore my shoes untied and with the tongue sticking out. I think I saw Run-DMC dress like that and I decided to mimic the image. One of my classmates innocently told me that my shoes were untied, and he just let me HAVE IT in front of my peers.

What did he know? I was just a poor kid holed up in a homeless shelter with no aspirations of anything better. If memory serves me right, he cornered me during my lunch period and made a physical threat against me. I remember him saying something along the lines of he would “beat my little black [behind],” with along with a couple of derogatory racial epithets thrown in for good measure. Why a BLACK teacher would ever do something like that still boggles my mind. Not soon after that, without me having told a soul about the incidents, the teacher was gone. Things are a blur after that, but I know You were somewhere lurking in that equation. That memory haunted me for years, and I love You for wiping that memory far from my remembrance.

I love You for this reason also…

I never quite thanked You for giving me the courage to handle things the way I did when Grandma died. I was a little mad at her for going to Atlanta and not telling me about it. She took me everywhere she went, especially the kingdom hall. I know I was funny looking little guy, with my little leather briefcase and all the Watchtowers half tore up and stuffed inside. As long as I got to ride with Grandma, I did not much care at all where we went. We would stop at the IGA grocery store and get two RC colas and head to the kingdom hall, on every Saturday without fail. So, when she took off and did not take me, I was a little upset. I can remember it being mid-afternoon, and the phone ringing back to back. I looked at the caller ID, and all it said was “Fulton County.” I was keeping an eye on my younger siblings, and I wanted to be the “man of the house” and answer the phone. The voice on the other end asked to speak to the man or woman of the house, and since it was me (or so I thought), I made the bold announcement that I was him. The conversation that was to follow was definitely made for someone above my caliber.

The woman on the other end asked me what relation I was to Ruth-Ann Ewell, and I told her that I was her grandson. I was then told the gut-wrenching news that she was in the morgue and she passed away of a massive heart attack the previous day. All I could do is drop the phone momentarily and scream as loud as my 15-year old throat would allow. My mother was at a location where a phone was not readily available, so I had to call some members of our congregation to go to where she was and deliver the news. I was also given the responsibility of calling every family member and telling them that Grandma had died. What 15-year old who could barely wipe their nose could handle such a task without You? I love You for not allowing me to crash and burn during that time. I thank You for giving me what I needed to handle the turbulence that came with it.

You know the reasons why I love You…but why is that You love me so much?

LORD, I have done some downright trifling things in my day. How is it that You were able to look past my ugliness when I beat up the freckle-faced kid with the gold rings I had on my fingers? When his uncle jumped through the screen door and tried to attack me, You allowed me to escape sure death. I was only a kid then, but I am sure it brought You great displeasure. I know I must have really given You some heartburn the nights that I tiptoed out of the house to go have sex with my girlfriend. You put up with it for many nights, me setting my alarm clock for 2:30 am to creep out of my back door to go do things I had absolutely no business doing. I guess You needed to give me a good lesson, because on this night, You woke her father up while we were in the midst of our latest charade. It was pretty dark in the living room, and thankfully my clothes were stuffed in a corner, out of sight. I had to hide in the furnace closet, which was in front of the dining room table. Her father decided to sit down to a bowl of cereal and have a nice chat with his daughter. Little did he know that in the closet right in front of him was a little boy, paralyzed with fear and barely breathing so as to not make a sound. He went upstairs, and I put my clothes on as fast as I could and made a beeline to my house. I was never quite the same after that night, and I was certainly too afraid to make anymore late night house calls. Thank You for the spanking and the fear that came with it. That was a crucial turning point in my life, and You orchestrated the entire thing.

I can also recall a point when I was teenager where You literally had to drag me out of my own bedroom. In my Young, finite mind it was a safe haven for me. I had a Super Nintendo hooked up to small color TV that I could get lost in. I would steal some food stamps and take them to corner stone, and pass them off to one of the local drunkards to get me and him a fix. I would sneak whatever my beverage of choice was into my room and line them up across my closet shelf like most kids would line up their trophies. If I had a basketball net nearby, I would have cut it and draped it across a 40 oz bottle of Olde English 800 as a gag. I found great pleasure in being plastered while killing some hopeless video game character, all the while not knowing I was on the run. I was running from the realities of watching too many VCRs leave my house and not be replaced. I was running from the mysteries of not knowing where I came from or where I was going. I was running from a life of hand-me-down clothes and barely getting by. Everything I was supposed to love, I hated them with great passion. Everything that was suppo

se
d to disgust me, I chased and embraced them. There was a sick liberty to my hatred. I figured if I could hate a thing enough, eventually it would feel what I feel and go away. As I found out much later, I could never out-evil Your goodness.

Now…back to the circumstances of our FINALLY meeting.

Thinking about how much You love me and how many ditches You pulled me out of made me almost lose track of time. It was December 14th, 2004. I was caught up in my latest shame after having been found in an adulterous affair. At the time of my exposure, I believe I was more angry at the fact that I got caught. Never mind the fact that I was totally wrong and totally at fault. Never mind the fact that I had brought shame to my marriage and to my children. To top it all off, my arrogance and total inability to feel any sort of remorse caused me to do something really stupid. In a contemptuous act of anger, I punched out my entertainment center. To this day, I do not know what prompted me to do something so insensate and just plain DUMB! As a reward, I spent the night in the hospital to receive stitches for my cuts and a cast for the bones that were broken in my hand.

I had no idea that a greater healing was up ahead…

When I returned home that night, I suddenly became torn up. The pain medication had worn off, but that was not the reason. The anger had subsided, and I was not sure why. I just decided to have a seat in my favorite recliner. It was pitch black in the room, which brought a certain sereneness and calm that I was not quite used to. Suddenly, a tear drop fell. I had a high tolerance for the agony that I was in, so I was not crying about that. I started to remember…

Remember what?

I remembered the pungent odor of the urine-stained apartment building that I once lived in. I remembered the crackling sounds of cans being squeezed as neighbors smoked crack in a crowded bathroom. I remembered the humiliation of “borrowing” sacks of potatoes so my family could eat something that day. I remembered the sound of shotgun pellets bouncing off the sliding board after the dope deal suddenly went bad. I remembered the laughter of classmates as I went to school in pants with a broken zipper and no underwear to cover me up. I remembered the embarrassment of breaking comb after comb trying to look presentable for picture day at school. I remembered the frustration of burning up loaves of bread trying to melt government cheese sandwiches that could not be cut thin enough. I remembered trying to sweeten pots of rice with mayonnaise because there was no sugar readily available.

Another tear drop fell…

I had blocked out the pain in my hand pretty good, so I was not crying about that. My two toddlers were fast asleep just feet from me, and I knew I was about to lose them forever. Just hours before, my lawn was so littered with white paper confessing my affair that I thought it snowed outside. In my laundry room was a pile of my best clothing, bleached and rendered useless after the discovery. In my driveway was a van with a bashed out side window, and I have my suspicions who committed that act. Above all else, in plain view was a 360 degree panorama of the destruction that I caused with my selfishness. Then another tear drop fell. And another one. And another one. All of a sudden, the floodgates were opened. Not only were eyes filled, but so was my belly.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV).

Right in that comfortable recliner of mine came a Comforter that I knew not of. As I bawled in a knot, I began to utter words that my human ears had never heard before. Every affirmation that went up was reciprocated with a touch from Your wonderful hands. As I paced the floor to and fro, You met me with a waltz and slowed down my steps. As my tears began to dry, I started to remember..

Remember what?

I remembered the great miracles You had performed in my life. The scar below my neck is a sign that You saved my life after chicken pox infected my insides when I was two years old. I remembered You bringing a mystery woman to buy me $800 worth of clothes during the summer that I worked and all of my savings were taken. I remembered the full year that my oldest son lived with me and we lived blissfully and without incident. I remembered holding my second son and loving him like nothing else I had ever imagined when he was born. I remembered the love and sheer paradise that I felt after holding my daughter for the first time. I remembered my high school graduation and being triumphant, even though I attended seventeen different schools in my life. I remembered a chance meeting with a legendary writer when I was in the second grade, even though I did not know that it would shape my greatest passion at the time. I remembered the three times I nearly drowned in swimming pools and You saving me every single time. I remembered the students at the local university volunteering to pay for my braces when my teeth were the mockery of everyone in sight. In short…

I began to remember Your love for me!

LORD, this is a little note to tell You that I love You with my soul, my might and ALL of my strength. I thank You for not walking out on me in my adulterous state. I thank You for not walking out on me in my drunken state. I thank You for not walking out on me in my disobedient and absolutely rebellious state. I thank You for not walking out on me after every lie I told and every piece of rotten fruit that I produced. I thank You for loving me when I was too putrid and too poor to be loved. I thank You for noticing me when I was too dirty and unkempt to be noticed at all. I thank You for loving me through the confusion, the pain, the struggles and everything that helped to shape and mold me into the man that I am today. I will make more mistakes in the days to come. I will fall again and again. I will make poor judgments and even poorer decisions on occasion. But, I am at rest knowing that You will be here through it all. You are my everything, and I will never let You go.

The one that You loved first,

Damainion

My Dearest LORD,

I am not sure where to begin, or what to even say at the time of this letter. To be perfectly honest, I do not know what to even call You. You have so many names that carry so many different meanings, depending on what situation I am faced with at the moment. When I am broke and clinging on to my last dime, I call You Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD my provider. When I am sick and clinging on to my last breath, I call You Jehovah-Ropheka, the LORD my healer. When utter HELL and chaos is front and center in my life, I call You Jehovah-Shalom, the LORD my peace. When I begin to curse and come out of character, I call You Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the LORD my righteousness. When I am in a sin-ridden existence and have nothing but darkness to befriend me, I call You Jehovah-Mekaddishkem, the LORD my sanctifier.

But, for the purposes of this letter, I will call You LORD and drop all of the formalities.

I can remember when we first met. I will not do myself the injustice of asking if You can remember that night, because it is plainly obvious that You set up the meeting. It was December 14th, 2004. It was way past midnight, although I am not sure of the hour. Before we get into the circumstances behind our meeting, I can vaguely remember numerous occasions where You tried to introduce Yourself to me. Please forgive me for all the doors that I closed in Your face and the times where I stood You up. I think the first real encounter I ever had with You was in the fourth grade. I was a bad, little nappy-headed joker, was I not? I bet You had many days where You slapped Your knees wondering what in the heck was wrong with me! Anyway, my teacher

called me “a gangster in the making” in front of the entire class because I wore my shoes untied and with the tongue sticking out. I think I saw Run-DMC dress like that and I decided to mimic the image. One of my classmates innocently told me that my shoes were untied, and he just let me HAVE IT in front of my peers.

What did he know? I was just a poor kid holed up in a homeless shelter with no aspirations of anything better. If memory serves me right, he cornered me during my lunch period and made a physical threat against me. I remember him saying something along the lines of he would “beat my little black [behind],” with along with a couple of derogatory racial epithets thrown in for good measure. Why a BLACK teacher would ever do something like that still boggles my mind. Not soon after that, without me having told a soul about the incidents, the teacher was gone. Things are a blur after that, but I know You were somewhere lurking in that equation. That memory haunted me for years, and I love You for wiping that memory far from my remembrance.

I love You for this reason also…

I never quite thanked You for giving me the courage to handle things the way I did when Grandma died. I was a little mad at her for going to Atlanta and not telling me about it. She took me everywhere she went, especially the kingdom hall. I know I was funny looking little guy, with my little leather briefcase and all the Watchtowers half tore up and stuffed inside. As long as I got to ride with Grandma, I did not much care at all where we went. We would stop at the IGA grocery store and get two RC colas and head to the kingdom hall, on every Saturday without fail. So, when she took off and did not take me, I was a little upset. I can remember it being mid-afternoon, and the phone ringing back to back. I looked at the caller ID, and all it said was “Fulton County.” I was keeping an eye on my younger siblings, and I wanted to be the “man of the house” and answer the phone. The voice on the other end asked to speak to the man or woman of the house, and since it was me (or so I thought), I made the bold announcement that I was him. The conversation that was to follow was definitely made for someone above my caliber.

The woman on the other end asked me what relation I was to Ruth-Ann Ewell, and I told her that I was her grandson. I was then told the gut-wrenching news that she was in the morgue and she passed away of a massive heart attack the previous day. All I could do is drop the phone momentarily and scream as loud as my 15-year old throat would allow. My mother was at a location where a phone was not readily available, so I had to call some members of our congregation to go to where she was and deliver the news. I was also given the responsibility of calling every family member and telling them that Grandma had died. What 15-year old who could barely wipe their nose could handle such a task without You? I love You for not allowing me to crash and burn during that time. I thank You for giving me what I needed to handle the turbulence that came with it.

You know the reasons why I love You…but why is that You love me so much?

LORD, I have done some downright trifling things in my day. How is it that You were able to look past my ugliness when I beat up the freckle-faced kid with the gold rings I had on my fingers? When his uncle jumped through the screen door and tried to attack me, You allowed me to escape sure death. I was only a kid then, but I am sure it brought You great displeasure. I know I must have really given You some heartburn the nights that I tiptoed out of the house to go have sex with my girlfriend. You put up with it for many nights, me setting my alarm clock for 2:30 am to creep out of my back door to go do things I had absolutely no business doing. I guess You needed to give me a good lesson, because on this night, You woke her father up while we were in the midst of our latest charade. It was pretty dark in the living room, and thankfully my clothes were stuffed in a corner, out of sight. I had to hide in the furnace closet, which was in front of the dining room table. Her father decided to sit down to a bowl of cereal and have a nice chat with his daughter. Little did he know that in the closet right in front of him was a little boy, paralyzed with fear and barely breathing so as to not make a sound. He went upstairs, and I put my clothes on as fast as I could and made a beeline to my house. I was never quite the same after that night, and I was certainly too afraid to make anymore late night house calls. Thank You for the spanking and the fear that came with it. That was a crucial turning point in my life, and You orchestrated the entire thing.

I can also recall a point when I was teenager where You literally had to drag me out of my own bedroom. In my Young, finite mind it was a safe haven for me. I had a Super Nintendo hooked up to small color TV that I could get lost in. I would steal some food stamps and take them to corner stone, and pass them off to one of the local drunkards to get me and him a fix. I would sneak whatever my beverage of choice was into my room and line them up across my closet shelf like most kids would line up their trophies. If I had a basketball net nearby, I would have cut it and draped it across a 40 oz bottle of Olde English 800 as a gag. I found great pleasure in being plastered while killing some hopeless video game character, all the while not knowing I was on the run. I was running from the realities of watching too many VCRs leave my house and not be replaced. I was running from the mysteries of not knowing where I came from or where I was going. I was running from a life of hand-me-down clothes and barely getting by. Everything I was supposed to love, I hated them with great passion. Everything that was supposed to disgust me, I chased and embraced them. There was a sick liberty to my hatred. I figured if I could hate a thing enough, eventually it would feel what I feel and go away. As I found out much later, I could never out-evil Your goodness.

Now…back to the circumstances of our FINALLY meeting.

Thinking about how much You love me and how many ditches You pulled me out of made me almost lose track of time. It was December 14th, 2004. I was caught up in my latest shame after having been found in an adulterous affair. At the time of my exposure, I believe I was more angry at the fact that I got caught. Never mind the fact that I was totally wrong and totally at fault. Never mind the fact that I had brought shame to my marriage and to my children. To top it all off, my arrogance and total inability to feel any sort of remorse caused me to do something really stupid. In a contemptuous act of anger, I punched out my entertainment center. To this day, I do not know what prompted me to do something so insensate and just plain DUMB! As a reward, I spent the night in the hospital to receive stitches for my cuts and a cast for the bones that were broken in my hand.

I had no idea that a greater healing was up ahead…

When I returned home that night, I suddenly became torn up. The pain medication had worn off, but that was not the reason. The anger had subsided, and I was not sure why. I just decided to have a seat in my favorite recliner. It was pitch black in the room, which brought a certain sereneness and calm that I was not quite used to. Suddenly, a tear drop fell. I had a high tolerance for the agony that I was in, so I was not crying about that. I started to remember…

Remember what?

I remembered the pungent odor of the urine-stained apartment building that I once lived in. I remembered the crackling sounds of cans being squeezed as neighbors smoked crack in a crowded bathroom. I remembered the humiliation of “borrowing” sacks of potatoes so my family could eat something that day. I remembered the sound of shotgun pellets bouncing off the sliding board after the d

ope deal suddenly went bad. I remembered the laughter of classmates as I went to school in pants with a broken zipper and no underwear to cover me up. I remembered the embarrassment of breaking comb after comb trying to look presentable for picture day at school. I remembered the frustration of burning up loaves of bread trying to melt government cheese sandwiches that could not be cut thin enough. I remembered trying to sweeten pots of rice with mayonnaise because there was no sugar readily available.

Another tear drop fell…

I had blocked out the pain in my hand pretty good, so I was not crying about that. My two toddlers were fast asleep just feet from me, and I knew I was about to lose them forever. Just hours before, my lawn was so littered with white paper confessing my affair that I thought it snowed outside. In my laundry room was a pile of my best clothing, bleached and rendered useless after the discovery. In my driveway was a van with a bashed out side window, and I have my suspicions who committed that act. Above all else, in plain view was a 360 degree panorama of the destruction that I caused with my selfishness. Then another tear drop fell. And another one. And another one. All of a sudden, the floodgates were opened. Not only were eyes filled, but so was my belly.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV).

Right in that comfortable recliner of mine came a Comforter that I knew not of. As I bawled in a knot, I began to utter words that my human ears had never heard before. Every affirmation that went up was reciprocated with a touch from Your wonderful hands. As I paced the floor to and fro, You met me with a waltz and slowed down my steps. As my tears began to dry, I started to remember..

Remember what?

I remembered the great miracles You had performed in my life. The scar below my neck is a sign that You saved my life after chicken pox infected my insides when I was two years old. I remembered You bringing a mystery woman to buy me $800 worth of clothes during the summer that I worked and all of my savings were taken. I remembered the full year that my oldest son lived with me and we lived blissfully and without incident. I remembered holding my second son and loving him like nothing else I had ever imagined when he was born. I remembered the love and sheer paradise that I felt after holding my daughter for the first time. I remembered my high school graduation and being triumphant, even though I attended seventeen different schools in my life. I remembered a chance meeting with a legendary writer when I was in the second grade, even though I did not know that it would shape my greatest passion at the time. I remembered the three times I nearly drowned in swimming pools and You saving me every single time. I remembered the students at the local university volunteering to pay for my braces when my teeth were the mockery of everyone in sight. In short…

I began to remember Your love for me!

LORD, this is a little note to tell You that I love You with my soul, my might and ALL of my strength. I thank You for not walking out on me in my adulterous state. I thank You for not walking out on me in my drunken state. I thank You for not walking out on me in my disobedient and absolutely rebellious state. I thank You for not walking out on me after every lie I told and every piece of rotten fruit that I produced. I thank You for loving me when I was too putrid and too poor to be loved. I thank You for noticing me when I was too dirty and unkempt to be noticed at all. I thank You for loving me through the confusion, the pain, the struggles and everything that helped to shape and mold me into the man that I am today. I will make more mistakes in the days to come. I will fall again and again. I will make poor judgments and even poorer decisions on occasion. But, I am at rest knowing that You will be here through it all. You are my everything, and I will never let You go.

The one that You loved first,

Damainion