Many years ago I asked God to give me a vision of my brother's spirit. I wanted to pray more effectively for him and I felt I needed to see what I could not SEE. As sure as I asked, God showed me something. What I saw was David bound to a wall with chains. The atmosphere was dark and he sat in filth. As I write this, I am recalling that his head was hung in shame.
It was two decades ago that David pledged his allegiance to his own destruction. He couldn't have known that first time that he would be sitting in prison one day unaware of his own worth. Year after year it seems nothing is changing. He repeats the same actions, returns to same filth and sadly he sinks deeper into the shame. In his eyes, these things define him. But I know they don't. As the years fade away, so do the people who believe in him. I can't blame them. This is exhausting! There are days and weeks that go by when I don't even think about him. But there is a small handful out there who remember him, who call his name before the Lord, who refuse to give up on David. I hear my kids praying for him. Their hope is not extinguished. Their love is not failing. He has one childhood friend who still prays fervently for him. And my in-laws pray for him every day. There are people who stand in the gap on the days my parents and I can't find hope.
This morning I read Acts 12:7: Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.
I wasn't thinking of David when I began reading but I was struck with this thought. "David, Get up! Just get up and the chains will fall off!" I pray God will shine his light in David's cell. That freedom will come in the form David can grasp, that God's angel would poke his side and he would wake up to see who he is in Christ. Isn't that what he does for all of us?
Tonight I am standing with my brother in a tangible way. I am getting a tattoo of his artwork on the back on my neck. I have one piece of original art that he made for me. It is a pink cherry blossom. That will be the art for the tattoo. David is an amazing artist and tattoo artist. So this is a fitting way for me to remember him and tell others about him. If you read this, please call out Acts 12:7 to the Father with me. David, wake up!