Chad Bird’s book, Night Driving, Notes from a Prodigal Son, has opened my eyes to a different way of perceiving my pain from the foolish human mistakes I make. It is a personal and raw look at a man sinking down to Sheol and finding a loving God who will do anything to bring us into His “liberating light”. Chad’s past and my past are the scars God has used through His son Jesus to “keep alive the memories… that are also full of grace and healing.”
Chad is able to articulate for me why the Psalms are such a comfort to me. They rail and scream at God , ”Why are You doing this to me?”, “How long God do I have to go through this?, and finally “Where are you God in this pain?”.
He explodes the myths of, “God is just teaching you to be self-reliant” or “God’s in control of your life. He has a plan for you, you just don’t see it now.” The simple truth is we can not understand the ways of God or comprehend them. What we need to hear is Jesus praying in the same way we are praying.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”
Finally, Chad is not hesitant to disclose the soul destroying sins he wallowed in like the Prodigal son. His journey gives understanding to how great the love our Father has for us. He brings the words of the saints who have gone before us to show us how God works through our scars to show how deeply He loves.
We have to let go of the part that insists, “I do it myself”, as my 2 year old used to tell me. The only way to get through the pain is to let it go and cling to the God who calls us, “Beloved.”
I scribbled notes all over the pages making connections to my own miserable mistakes. I shed a few tears as I realized I didn’t have to keep reliving the shame of my past sins. The scars make me whole in God because He loves me!
It’s raw. It’s gut-wrenching. It’s shameful. And never have I felt so loved and comforted.
Night Driving, Notes From A Prodigal Son, is available on Amazon Prime.