The Laywer Who Needed Proof for Truth
April 11, 2017
Before I was a Mom, before I was a Christian author, I was a lawyer. Yes, it’s true. After college, I went to law school. There I learned the art of investigation, argument and sifting through evidence to find the truth. I passed the Bar examination and went to work for a short time as an Assistant District Attorney in the State of Georgia where I was licensed (and still am). I have maintained my law license, in spite of the fact that I haven’t practiced law in many years, because once you suffer through the painful process of studying and passing such an exam, you never want to repeat the experience. I had been trained as a lawyer to find evidence that brought proof and truth to circumstances and situations in which a crime had been committed. Truth had been obscured. Injustice had been done. The law seeks to bring justice, and the lawyer’s job (both the prosecution and the defense) is to look for the proof and the evidence that brings the justice. I am thankful that I live in America. It is a land with a system of justice based upon the English Common Law. In spite of its’ imperfections, it is still the best justice system in the world. We have rules, systems, and practices in which evidence and proof are required to convict an individual of a crime. Without it, he is set free. Conviction or freedom depends upon truth. Truth depends upon evidence. But I digress. It turned out that practicing law wasn’t my cup of tea, so to speak, so I worked in law-related jobs before I became a stay-at-home Mom and later an author. In the midst of the years focused on my young children, I began to seek proof and evidence of a different kind. I began to seek ultimate truth.
You see, as a child, my parents had trained me to seek the Truth. They brought me to Church each week. They taught me to say my bedtime prayers. We prayed before each meal. They modeled temperance, self-control and other morally upright behavior to me. My Dad modeled good ethics in business and a love for people, no matter what their station in life. My mother modeled a servant’s heart toward our family and neighbors. I went through religious training classes in our particular church denomination. My mother gave me a Bible. She and my Dad did everything they knew how to do, to teach me to seek the Truth for myself. Like so many in the World War II generation, they sought to lay a strong moral foundation in the lives of all of their children, including me. My mother and her friends even prayed for me (for many years) so that I would know the Truth for myself. However, in spite of their efforts, during the university years, I drifted away from my spiritual roots. I stopped attending church, like so many in Generation X or like my Baby-Boomer older siblings. I thought that my studies, my self-made morality and my academic accomplishments and sometimes-good behavior would somehow, someway, someday be just barely enough to get me to heaven. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I had convinced myself that my own goodness, in spite of many bad choices, would somehow outweigh the bad. In short, I was following a homemade theology and I didn’t know the Truth. You see, in spite of the religious training, my Bible sat on the bookshelf, unread. Those years apart from God were full of learning, but without the knowledge of Truth. I had a lot of academic smarts and I had a lot of education, but the Truth had simply escaped me.
Fast forward to Law School, of all places. In the midst of studying earthly justice, I began to realize that my agnostic lifestyle, worldly parties and other poor moral choices, had left me feeling empty. Much learning and, what appeared to be worldly success, had led to emotional and spiritual emptiness. A friend in law school invited me to church. I hadn’t attended in many years, but somehow I just knew it was the right thing to do. I began to attend church each Sunday morning. At first, it was just a religious habit. A once-familiar routine was resurrected. It meant almost nothing, but I knew it was right. Over the next several years, I began to make better choices and eventually, I became hungry for real evidence. I reasoned that if the Bible was true, it was extremely important to read it, and it was untrue it was totally irrelevant. Either way, I had to find out which it was. It couldn’t hurt to read the single best perpetual best seller in history, after all. I was a lawyer who needed proof. I needed evidence for the ultimate truth. I wasn’t going to take anyone else’s word for it. I needed to know for myself.
Over time, I ‘tried’ to read my Bible. In fits and starts, I would ‘resolve’ to read the whole thing, or the New Testament or one particular book of the Bible. I tried and failed many times. Eventually, I began to hang out with ‘those Church people’ that I had previously mocked. You know the ones, they actually seemed to believe those Bible stories and to be getting something out of Church. They were a little weird, but they seemed to have the peace that I secretly desired. During this time, I married, was blessed miraculously with two amazing daughters and I became a truth seeker. I knew I should bring my girls to Church. So, I did. I read the Bible, I went to Church, I brought the kids to Sunday school, and I even began to go to Bible studies. And I had no idea what anyone was talking about. I had no clue what the preachers or those Bible studying people were talking about! None. And it bothered me, because I was smart and educated. I would sit in the back of churches: Presbyterian churches, Lutheran churches, non-denominational Evangelical churches, Baptist churches and on and on, and weep. I just wept. I wept and I had no idea why I was weeping and I just kept going to Church.
And then it happened. I nearly died. A misdiagnosis of a simple infection left me fighting for my life. Through a series of miraculous events and other people’s prayers, I made it to the right doctor and hospital on the right day at the right time. In the nick of time, I received life-saving antibiotics. In the midst of seeking truth, I had faced eternity. With two daughters under the age of five, this was quite a shock. I didn’t know my eternal destination. And I knew that I didn’t know. Not for sure. I didn’t know, for certain if I would go to heaven if I had died of the sepsis that had robbed by strength and nearly taken my life.
So, on April 11, 2002, (fifteen years ago today) I picked up the Bible that my mother had given me as a gift many years before. I opened it, because I was bewildered that my life had been spared. One of my beloved brothers was about to face heart-valve replacement surgery the next day. I was in my 30’s and had recently faced death, and he was in his 40’s and was facing death. I wanted to pray for him, but I knew I didn’t know how to pray, and suddenly I realized that I didn’t really know God, the one to whom I wanted to pray. I didn’t even know where to turn, so I looked up the word “healing” in the back of that Bible and I thought it pointed me to Gospel of John. It turned out later that there was no such reference. I opened John 14 and began to read. There in my bedroom, reading the Bible, late at night, I read Jesus Christ’s words. Jesus told him, “I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me. John 14:6 (TLB) Suddenly, it was as if a darkness and heaviness lifted off of my mind and my heart. A bright flash of light seemed to illuminate those Bible words to me. They came to life in my own heart. I suddenly knew they were true. I was married at that time and my lawyer-husband lay beside me reading the Wall Street Journal. I gasped aloud and said to him, “Oh! You’re not going to believe THIS, but the Bible is TRUE!” I was in a sort of shock and awe. I sat nearly mute, staring at that Bible chapter for a very long time. Something had changed. A warm presence and peace came over me for the first time in my life. Everything had changed. I suddenly believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. I knew that I, personally, was forgiven of my many sins. I had just met the Author of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, who had revealed Jesus Christ, THE TRUTH to me. That was the first day of the rest of my life. It was the day that this lawyer found the proof she sought, on the pages of a Bible, and met The Truth.
How about you? Do you know for sure that if you died today you would go to heaven? You can know that for certain through putting your faith in Jesus Christ the Truth. My testimony is evidence. The Bible is proof. Read it until the author introduces Himself to you. Heaven is as close to you as a heartfelt prayer.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”