The Spiritual Journey of a Very Imperfect Man Part 1 covers the lives of the young Graham and Audrie (Aud) Martin, how we got hitched, the beginnings of our spiritual journeys, and then gradually follows on to how, at 60 years old, I experienced a complete mental breakdown involving multiple attempts to take my own life and a 12-week spell in a secured psychiatric unit. It is intended that my recollections of this truly horrendous time, and particularly how I survived, will enable anyone presently undergoing anything remotely similar to have genuine hope.
Every tunnel, no matter how dark, has a light at the end when Christ is involved, even if this cannot be perceived at the time. Back in the day, as a young man, I had strong atheistic views and consistently believed the Bible to be a load of rubbish right up until the time I read it. This aggressive and confrontational approach persisted until my mid-twenties when, after a long struggle, God immediately answered my ‘exploratory prayer’ to convert my best friend, Bill Collins, who was living in California at the time. Audrie, who was less feisty than me when it came to spiritual matters, also experienced a fairly dramatic conversion to Christ in her mid-twenties, although her encounter came out of a place of despair rather than comfort.
The Spiritual Journey of a Very Imperfect Man Part 1 : Graham L Martin
Although I anticipate a more limited readership than for part 1, this has certainly not lessened my passion for this second and more comprehensive (although hopefully not ‘wordy’) work. This passion has been particularly fuelled by the steadily growing popularity of postmodernism and related ‘isms’, resulting in the most common response (by far) to my explanations of the gospel being along the lines, “Well, it’s great if Christianity helps you Graham but, quite frankly, it’s just not our bag”. Many years ago, during a university Q & A, I heard an itinerant evangelist say that his sole aim was to get people to take on Jesus Christ and his amazing claims. This is also the objective of this second part, which consistently endeavours to enable people to see past ‘dead’ religion and onto Jesus and his breathtaking uniqueness.
This uniqueness categorisation is appropriate because, firstly, Christ is not some religious teacher or guru reaching out for divine enlightenment, but God himself reaching in with voluntary and deliberate self-disclosure/revelation. Secondly, he is not some impersonal ordering structure behind the universe with which we must align ourselves by doing such and such so that we can become such and such, but rather a person – the ‘God-man’, totally committed to qualifying us for heaven and eternal life. And finally, although his objective is always that our lives become more and more like his, he is not some rule book simply telling us to get on with it. On the contrary, he is the agape-loving Son of God who, through his Holy Spirit, can transform and empower us in a reciprocal arrangement as we live through him and he lives through us.