The problem I'm having with a God Who was just supposed to have kicked off some process of evolution gazillions of years ago and then told His prophets to write down a story of creation only to be saying afterwards, "I was just kiddin' folks - I used Evolution to do it" is that He would most likely be gazillions of miles away from me. If He was too busy to be involved in the creation of at least the first man (and woman), the way the Bible said He was, but instead let man gradually evolve from a looooooong line of monkeys and other mammals, reptiles and tadpoles, making who or whatever was capable of being called the first man resemble a cross between Frankenstein and King Kong rather than the image of God Almighty, then He would also be way too busy to count the hairs on our heads the way Jesus said He would, and make that statement just another one of countless lies, exaggerations and "not-so's" in the Bible.
Certainly He'd be to busy to be involved in my financial problems, and one of the first chapters I'd have to rip out of my New Testament would be Matthew 6, in which Jesus admonishes His disciples not to live for physical things, but promises that if they would seek first the Kingdom of God, all these things would be added unto them.
Not that that chapter would have much actual relevance in the lives of probably 99% of existing Christians in the 21st century. But it does to me. It has, ever since I met the Family International at the age of 13. I had been reading the New Testament on my way to school and got so turned on about it that I got in trouble even with the leaders of our local faith community because I told the parents of one of my school mates that I took Matthew 6 literally (and they called up the community inquiring whether I was the only loony).
Many local community leaders later I still believe in it.
I remember the time in Argentina in 1984 when my future wife, another team member and I traveled 3000 km within 3 weeks for our radio show, having 50 Dollars in our pockets, and never having spent one dime of them. Actually, we returned with more than what we had left with, and yet we had traveled in comfortable buses, spent the nights in pensions or hotels and had 3 meals a day in different restaurants, all donated. We held meetings for our listeners in half a dozen different towns in halls, hotel lobbies or similar places without having to pay a dime for their usage.
I know what it means when God says "I have set before thee an open door that no man can shut."
That's why I get so upset when "Christians" call Him a liar and say, "No, He was just kidding in the Bible, and we can scientifically prove it."
Probably if I were a professor at some university teaching my students all the many reasons why Charles Darwin makes more sense than all the prophets in the Bible put together, I'd have to believe my own b...sh.t, too in order to be able to live with myself.
Perhaps fortunately for some and unfortunately for most, I don't receive a big check at the end of the month for pursuing any such activity.
One of the few things I have done for a living in order to help God a little bit keep that Promise about "all these things shall be added unto you" has been to play a little bit of music every now and then. And the older you get, the more you can relate to the old chieftain in "Little Big Man" in the "Good day to die" scene where he performs the magic ritual in preparation for his entrance into the eternal hunting grounds: "Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't."
This past month was one of those months when "it doesn't," since we didn't have a single gig, and the bills kept coming anyway.
We have those months every once in a while, and so far, He has always done it and never let us down. Did I mention that I faithfully give my tithe ever since I earned my first income at the age of 17 before I bid my mom goodbye to follow Jesus?
I know God wasn't kidding either about His Promise "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10). Some say it's "unscriptural" to tithe. Well, I'm not the right person to be taught that sort of theology. I might just tell you in your face, "Man, why don’t you be honest and just admit that you're stingy?"
He had not forsaken me.
The funny thing is, though, that no matter how often these miracles happen, you always tend to forget them, and as soon as the due date for the rent is in sight and the cash is not around, nor any gig on the schedule that promises to bring it in, one starts wondering and whining again, "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
It's like that film "50 First Dates," in which a girl with extreme memory loss had to be wooed each day anew by her lover.
So I decided to write down this month's miracle while it's happening, to make sure I won't forget it next time:
On Monday we somehow realized that we had the money for our utilities bill (water and electricity) and so transferred that money, leaving us at zero: "Welcome to Rock Bottom Club!"
We still had to come up with our rent, though. This was a job for Super-God. But we knew we had to do our part, too.
So we decided to follow up on some contacts and spent about an hour witnessing to the owner of a local gravestone company, who seemed thankful that we brought a little light into his confusion. "Thanks," he said! "One never knows what to believe anymore these days."
When we wanted to move on, we realized we weren't going to get very far with our summer tires in the snow, So we turned around, stopped by a junkyard in the nearby Swiss town of Schaffhausen, and the owner donated 4 pretty decent winter tires, which Sparkles, my better half and also the better mechanic between the two of us, mounted the next morning at a friend's place who owns the local Toyota garage.
On that day we couldn't go witnessing because I had a guitar pupil coming in and our daughter had school theater rehearsals, meaning we had to stay with our dog, so our adventure continued on Wednesday.
We didn’t get very far that day before I felt like I needed a coffee as we walked through the closest larger size town. So we stopped at a restaurant whose owner Sparkles knew and who might donate a coffee since we were still broke...
We showed the owner lady our new Christmas CD and were going to leave it for her to listen to. But she didn't want to let us go without paying for it, and in the process also bought two more of our CDs for her son.
We had just become richer by the sum of one sixth of our rent.
On our way home we passed by another restaurant Sparkles knew and the owner lady said she had just been thinking about her. She also gladly took a Christmas CD and gave us a bottle of Uruguayan wine on top of it...
On Thursdays we have a small prison ministry in a German town that's about 40 km from our place where we visit and sing for a group of 5 to 10 prisoners. On our way there we passed by a gas station belonging to a very sweet couple who had called earlier this week saying that they would like to have our Christmas CD (we had sent out an email on Monday attaching one of the best songs from it, something we’ll keep doing until Christmas), and so they gave us another donation that brought us a bit closer to the full amount of our due rent, along with a Swiss highway vignette (a yearly sticker you need on your car in order to be able to use Swiss highways).
When we returned home later that evening, another person had bought our Christmas CD online, and we were slooowly but surely getting toward about half our rent.
This morning, Sparkles went to visit a friend she sees regularly, and he just so happened to be inspired to help us with another sixth of our rent, plus a new 4 GB USB stick smaller than a finger nail (he's a shop owner)...
Then in the afternoon some unexpected visitors came: a very sweet couple from a nearby Swiss division of our faith community stormed in unannounced and said they wanted to leave us a gift, which turned out to be yet another third of our rent. There is a God, and He loves us.
Finally, (after a break of about a year or so), Sparks and I grabbed our guitar and took it to some Restaurants we had played in when we had hit previous dry spells. The last few times had been another example of when the magic doesn't work. But tonight it did.
The rent was in!
And when we got home we found out that another sweet couple from our Family had sent us another generous donation in appreciation of our German albums which we've made available for free download, and now we're just about able to pay our upcoming health insurance bill, too.
Of course, we know people who have testimonies of how God supplied hundreds of thousands of Euros or dollars for them, and these are probably easier to remember than those little miracles that keep us going and prove to us over and over again that He loves us and won't forsake us, in spite of the mess we are.
Perhaps that’s why I just can’t bring myself to believe that He’s just supposed to have flipped a switch to turn on the evolutionary machinery and then headed for the highlands to leave us evolving and fending for ourselves. Either God’s philosophy is “survival of the fittest,” or “The meek shall inherit the earth” – it can hardly be both.
Well, if you would like to become part of the continuing miracle of our simple faith life, you'll find the "donate" button on our site, so feel free. Rest assured that every small gift will be genuinely appreciated.
And if you should not yet have experienced personally that God is not too far away or too busy to help you make it through your financial dry periods, perhaps our little testimony managed to encourage you. If He did it for us, there's no doubt He'll do it for you.