Jeremy Sarber tells the story of when a self-professed “crackhead” named Al became a real father. Al credits his transformation to Jesus.
According to Al, God used his daughter to get his attention that day. “Oh, Jesus,” he prayed. “I can’t quit this stuff. I don’t have it in me. But you do. Save me, Lord. Save me. Save my body from crack, and save my soul from hell. Save me and my little girl from—me.”
Al has been clean and sober ever since—thirty years and counting.
“Don’t tell me Jesus ain’t real,” he said. “I met him. He took the crack pipe right out of my hand. He turned a crackhead into a real father. I didn’t do that. He did that.”
This story resonated with me because, when I was in church on Sunday, I heard a similar story. Someone in the row behind me was recounting how, on the day of his baptism, he was freed from an addiction that had plagued him for years. He remains free from the grip of that addiction to this day. Though he said he didn’t know how to describe to others the feeling he gets from worship, it continues to have a potent effect on him.