A Beautiful Collision

Have you ever walked into a glass door?

I have. It hurt. Let me tell you about it.

One of my first, and most embarrassing, “collisions” happened when I was junior in college. During spring break, I went with my campus ministry to serve in Amsterdam (local church, outdoor music, youth hostels, etc.). On our free day, we visited the¬†Rijksmuseum — a gorgeous, Dutch national museum dedicated to the arts and history.

Photo credit: Arden (Creative Commons)

On our way out, we were filing through a revolving door and per a miscalculation on my part, I smacked into the glass-paned siding. I was the last to go through, so the rest of the group apparently heard this *THUD!* and turned around to see me and my pathetic self sprawled out, baby-style, on the concrete sidewalk. I was dazed, confused, and had a monstrous red bump on my forehead for the next few days.

It most certainly was not a beautiful collision. In fact, it was painful, embarrassing, and definitely a lot of ugly.

A couple Sundays ago, we started a new student series at church called “Collision”– one where we ultimately ask ourselves what a collision with Christ looks like. Do we experience change? Do we see God differently? How does it affect our relationships?

One thing’s for sure, I am certainly more cautious around those revolving glass doors. As silly as it sounds, that small moment prompted change. It disturbed and disrupted what I was expecting to happen (which was nothing).

A time when I felt that God collided with my simple life was the summer after my freshman year in high school. During a trip to the foothills of West Virginia, where we helped repair homes and build relationships, God revealed Himself to me many ways. He showed me the importance of living for Him each and every day, and made clear that His love was transforming. I remember during one of our group times at night feeling that God came into my heart and changed me. It was powerful and I knew it was real. He revealed areas that I needed to change and also showed me that He was going to be there for me through it all.

While that collision in many ways was hard (e.g. I knew God would change some things in my life), I also looked at it as a beautiful encounter. His perfect love reached down and met me exactly where I was at.

On a side note: If you haven’t heard the song below, I’d encourage you to check it out (A Beautiful Collision by David Crowder*Band).

::

Tell me about a time when you “collided with Christ”.
Have you ever walked into a glass door?

58 Comments

  • bill (cycleguy)

    June 13, 2011

    Loved this post Dustin. I was pastoring a church from 11/2000 to 11/2005 in Ohio. I was miserable. The church had great people and I loved them, but the median age was about 60-65. (It was my wife’s home church…long story). Several times I tried to leave but each time God either closed the door by rejection or one time it was almost like hearing a voice that said, “Stop looking.” Awhile later, my wife saw an ad about a church and said I needed to look into it because “it sounds like you.” I put it off for several weeks until she “bugged” me enough that I finally called. I sent in a resume and here I am 5 1/2 years into that church “that sounds like me.” God surprised me by bringing me back to a small town, back to where I truly feel comfortable, and to people whom I dearly love. I would say that was a beautiful collision. Good word today my friend.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 13, 2011

      thanks, bill – funny how when a door closes, God opens up something much more perfect. thanks for sharing about how you got to where you are today!

      Reply
  • Sandy Sandmeyer

    June 13, 2011

    In high school, I traveled with a Christian organization/singing group called The New Directions. We were at a church in Ohio, I think, and one of our members walked completely through a sliding glass door. Not a regular sized one, but a really long (perhaps 6 feet), large, not safety glass one. It came crashing down on the floor around him and, Praise God, he wasn’t hurt at all, but he was embarrassed!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 13, 2011

      Oh wow…. came crashing down? You can’t be discrete about something like that!

      Reply
  • Jim F

    June 13, 2011

    First – love Crowder and love the song.

    Second love the story and the point. I was at a church were I was comfortable and life was comfortable and then all the sudden the rug was pulled out. I was let go for no real reason – Senior Pastor just said – that the church was going a different direction. I struggled and Christ and I collided. I ended up in a small church in rural Va that is who I am. It is a laid back church full of people I love in a community that I love. It is a place where I can talk in sermons about hunting and fishing and people do not look at me like I have seven heads. It has become a beautiful collision.

    As far as the glass door – yes I have but we will not discuss that now….. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 13, 2011

      Well, be sure to share the glass door story with us sometimes. Since you put a “:)” at the end, you know we’ll be asking you about it!

      Thanks for sharing the story, Jim – kind of like Bill above, seems like God really used a tough situation to bring to you where you are now.

      Reply
  • Donald Borsch Jr

    June 13, 2011

    “…that small moment prompted change.”
    —————-

    A wasp is tiny when compared to us. A spark is nothing when compared to a roaring blaze.

    Yet we will feel pain for hours when stung, and face the possibility of losing everything from a fire. Funny, that. Two small things being able to cause us to pay attention and be aware, all in the blink of an eye.

    D, thank you for this one. There is a theme running through this post that I have noticed on other online outlets/blogs. Hmm. (Makes me wonder…)

    Reply
    • Donald Borsch Jr

      June 13, 2011

      Oh, and my biggest collision with Jesus?

      Simple.

      When He came to me, brought me down on my face, placed His foot on the back of my neck, and asked, “Well, now. WHO do you say I AM, exactly?”

      It was epic. It was humiliation. It was when His Sovereignty and Truth collided with my ignorance, vitriol against Him, and the utter foolishness of my endeavors.

      That collision changed the very core of who and what I was, permanently. Yeah, I’m pretty danged thankful!

      Reply
      • Dustin

        June 13, 2011

        “Who do you say I am, exactly?

        That is a question I think we need to ask ourselves quite often. When we properly view God, who He is, His greatness, His holiness, His lovingkindness, etc…. we truly see and place ourselves where we need to be in relation.

        Reply
    • Dustin

      June 13, 2011

      Your wasp analogy is strong – so small, yet so striking. Makes me wonder, indeed!

      Reply
  • Jon

    June 13, 2011

    Great post bro.

    My collision with Jesus really started during my senior year of high school/ the summer before starting college. Growing up in the Christian faith, it was so easy to just be that Sunday Christian. But that summer, it was like God kicked me in the butt, and was like “Why do you believe in me? There were other times too…when I went to Guatemala for mission trip.

    Yes, I have walked into a glass door. It wasn’t as embarrassing because I was little, but it still did hurt like heck. I remember I was lost in the mall, and then somehow, I ended up banging a glass door…bloody teeth were involved…

    Love that DCB song. This post reminded me of The Beautiful Letdown my Switchfoot…another great one!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 13, 2011

      Oh yes, love Switchfoot. I remember seeing them in concert wayyy back in the day right after their first album came out… and thinking, “they are going to be good!”.

      I really like what you said – felt like your faith became real, became personal… Sometimes those kicks in the butt are exactly what we need.

      Reply
  • Jason Vana

    June 13, 2011

    One of my most powerful collisions – and one whose affects I’m still feeling today – was actually in two parts back in 2005. My pastor at the time had just returned from his first trip to Europe and was sharing some of what he saw and experienced while in Poland at our Saturday night prayer service. He was talking about a town that still had some of the original city wall intact and then happened to mention that this city had a huge university in it.

    I broke down and start bawling at the back of the church. Part 1.

    The second part was when I took some of my students to a missions convention in December that same year. Missionaries from all over there world were there and the point was to get college students to commit a year of their lives after college to missions, and pray about a lifetime. It really was geared for the students and, minus the larger gatherings, I found it kind of boring.

    But one night during a large worship gathering, someone was up on stage talking about how God might call you to live in some hut in Africa or go to China or work with college students in Europe. Yep. Broke down again. Then at the end of the convention, we were taking common, and before everyone actually took it, they had various missionaries stand up and share who they were taking that communion for – some were for the homeless in Africa, some were for the abused in China, then right after each other, one stood up and said he was taking it for the unreached college students in America, and one said he was taking it for the unreached college students in Europe.

    That night I made the decision to take my first trip to Europe, and I have been back every year since.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Wow, loved reading about the backstory to what you are now passionate about. Thanks for sharing, Jason.

      Reply
  • kristinherdy

    June 13, 2011

    I had a collision with Christ on a ski trip when I was 14. I was raised in the church, but he confronted me with the question, Would you be willing to suffer and die to see your family and friends come into the kingdom? um… I’d rather not have to “suffer” so much, Lord, but… and then it hit me, that’s what he did for me, would I be willing to do that for people I loved if it meant they would find salvation?

    I collided with a glass door when I was younger, too. My aunt was something of a clean freak and she’d windexed the glass door to where it looked like there was nothing there!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      That is a difficult question, Kristin- simply because the answer to that question is revealing, about ourselves.

      And, more proof that Windex really works! :)

      Reply
  • Jason

    June 13, 2011

    I’ve never walked into a glass door but I have walked through three different screen doors.

    As for a collision…one of the biggest happened during the midst of a deep trial where I was sitting in a room at work, alone, just thinking about all the trouble that had descended and was yet to come. All of a sudden I felt this wave of love that I can’t really describe in words. (Trust me, I’ve tried.) It left me laughing and crying hard at the same time. I’ve never felt it since but man I crave that kind of God connection.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      But now the question remains, did you bust through them and remain upright? :)

      Thanks for sharing, Jason – sounds like that encounter was met with mixed emotions… one of awe and wonder, and also gratefulness for the love you felt.

      Reply
  • Moe

    June 13, 2011

    I have to say, my collision is when God brought me to my knees and opened my eyes to see the world as He sees it. Free from the prison of religion and legalism. I am now free, speaking as the Spirit gives utterance (making some enemies along the way), but always free, always in a position of grace and always pointing to His Word.

    I have never walked into a glass door, but I once walked into the subway into a pair of Double D’s. I’ll tell you the story one day. Hilarious!

    Reply
    • Donald Borsch Jr

      June 14, 2011

      Double D’s? Is that NY slang for Dunkin Donuts?

      Reply
      • moe

        June 14, 2011

        Yeah, something like that! :)

        Reply
        • Dustin

          June 14, 2011

          Don’t worry Moe, your HeyTell msg about this is safely stored away on my iPhone (and Evernote… and Dropbox…)

          Reply
          • Moe

            June 14, 2011

            I have a feeling this will show up sometime. Perhaps when I run for governor? LOL

            Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      “Always free, always in a position of grace, and always pointing to His Word.”

      Love that.

      Reply
  • Arny

    June 13, 2011

    Wow…so this was that “blonde Moment” you were talking about at my blog huh….ouch!

    My collide with christ happens ever single day! It very difficult to take up my Cross daily….very….

    Reply
  • Kyle Reed

    June 13, 2011

    Love that and the song from DCB. One of my all time favorite bands

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Me too …. One of the “sadder” moments in my life. While in college, my Jeep got broken into and my subwoofer and CD player stolen. Sadly, my DCB “All I Can Say” album was still in the CD player. I think I was more distraught at the time at losing that disc than anything else.

      Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    June 13, 2011

    I love this post Dustin – it’s so honest. And it sounds like something I would do. I’ve had many collisions – but none that changed me as much as my collision with Jesus – and sometimes that wasn’t so pretty in the beginning – but I had lessons to learn by the ugly and humiliation – and have the scars to prove it.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Cool, thanks for sharing Cindy. It certainly can be kind of ugly at first, but it’s beautiful in the end!

      Reply
  • Tony Alicea

    June 13, 2011

    There is nothing like those collisions with Jesus. People talk about being “moved” by a sermon or a song but when you have a real deal encounter with Jesus, your life is changed. You get a limp and a name change.

    I had that encounter after my divorce. That’s when I learned what love really is. I learned what grace really is. I learned what forgiveness really is.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Tony, you’re definitely right. Those encounters are life changing. There is proof.

      Thanks for sharing your story a few months back on your blog – I could sense the things you mentioned right there…

      Reply
  • Rob Shepherd

    June 13, 2011

    Love this post and I love that song. Too bad David Crowder Band is calling it quits.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Thanks, Rob. Me too – kind of bummed!

      Reply
  • Keri @ Pop Parables

    June 13, 2011

    The collision that comes to mind when I read this is from a very painful time in my life. I can remember exactly where I was when it all happened (the details aren’t necessary to be shared here). Suffice to say, it was the greatest emotional/mental/spiritual pain in my life thus far. In those first few days, I knew He was with me, He loved me and was caring for me. But, it was definitely a time of questioning Him and asking why He would allowed such a thing. But, in the midst of it all, I knew He was saying to me, “You can choose to be angry, hateful, and spiteful because of this, or you can take up your cross and follow Me.” It’s still a daily choice to follow Him and deny those tendencies. But, He has taken my pain and turned it into something useful, something beautiful. (Not trying to be vague for no reason, but this is way too personal to share on a blog.) Just like you said, “His perfect love reached down and met me exactly where I was at.”

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      I know what you mean, Keri – thanks for sharing what you did. It’s definitely a daily choice to trust and follow. Really, thanks!

      Reply
  • Joseph

    June 13, 2011

    Wonderful post Dustin! I’ve never ran in to a glass door. It’s wonderful when we have a collision with Jesus. He continues to collide with me and change me.

    Reply
  • jenn

    June 13, 2011

    I don’t remember running into a glass door before, but I have run into walls, posts, mail boxes, and the occasional person. (It seems that a glass door would be less embarrassing since at least you can use the excuse that you couldn’t see it. haha)

    I’ve had several collisions with Jesus, but the two that stand out in my mind right away both had to do with fear. The first was when Shiloh was a baby and I was just terrified that something was going to happen to her. I knew that I couldn’t handle something like that. My husband had gone to prison while I was pregnant, so I was still dealing with that, and I think I was just waiting for something else bad to happen. I couldn’t sleep and I was scaring myself with all the “what-ifs”. Then God reminded me that Shiloh is His, not mine and I didn’t have control. I cried and cried (and I’m not a crier) and I gave up control and told God that no matter what His plan was, I would trust Him with Shiloh. It was a big moment for me. And it really helped me deal with the constant fear. Not that I don’t have my moments still, but that overwhelming fear of something happening to her is gone.

    This comment is already long enough, so I’ll try to shorten the other one. It’s something I blogged about a couple years ago. I was stressing about never being able to trust men again and God flat out told me that I didn’t trust Him. I was like, “No, I trust You God, it’s men I don’t trust.” God just repeated that I didn’t trust Him. Then I realized that I wasn’t trusting God that if I ever remarry, he would bring the right man into my life. It seems kind of obvious, but in the moment it was a big deal for me.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Wow, thanks for sharing jenn! Both those instances sound like moments of complete surrender. I think that is what God wants of us.

      Reply
  • David Miles

    June 14, 2011

    I collided with God the summer before my final quarter of college when He called me to be a part of the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

    When I got back I knew that I had to pursue fulltime ministry…rather than the career I had been studying my entire college career to pursue.

    Can’t say I’ve ever run into a glass door, but I ran my head into a huge beam and it knocked me off my feet.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Cool! You may have mentioned this, but in what are of ministry?

      Reply
  • Randy

    June 14, 2011

    Sounds like we may share skills in coordination and general clumsiness. ;-) My collision with Christ came initially at age 9, but I’ve been running head-on into Him over and over since then. His grace and love overwhelms me every time!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 14, 2011

      Yeah, it’s kind of pathetic, in fact. :) Thanks for the comment, Randy!

      Reply
  • Matt

    June 14, 2011

    I guess you could say I collided with God this past October in Brazil. I had never been around so many ‘least of these’ and it put faith and my life in a completely different perspective.

    Reply
  • Adam

    June 14, 2011

    Love this man.

    My moment came one day when I came to the realization that I cannot do life on my own. That I am in need of a Savior to walk it with me every step of the way. However, imperfect I am.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 15, 2011

      that’s awesome, adam. thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • Ben

    June 14, 2011

    Collision at 16, and when I became overconfident and outright cocky, in our 5th year of marriage. When he meets us where we are, it is indeed with His perfect love.

    I’ve walked into a glass door before, hence the reason for placing stickers on it :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 15, 2011

      wait, you already had 5 yrs of marriage under your belt at age 16? ;-)

      and we do the sticker thing as well. works like a charm!

      Reply
      • Ben

        June 15, 2011

        DOH! I meant to say the collision(s) have happened twice so far. mahbad.

        Reply
  • tyler

    June 15, 2011

    i love that song. at the risk of sounding like a spam comment: really great post, I really enjoyed what you have written, click for a free ipod.

    jk, but not about the post.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 15, 2011

      lol, i’m all about a free ipod.

      (and thanks!)

      Reply
  • Marlee

    June 15, 2011

    Hey Dustin,
    I once fell through a glass table, does that count?
    You’ve used beautiful imagery here. I think I definitely collided with the Lord when I first called upon him. But he’s much more subtle now. He whispers. I think it’s cause he’s expecting more of me…and he want’s me to REALLY listen. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 15, 2011

      I really like your comments, Marlee… always so insightful. And, yes… a glass table counts. Sounds like quite the story!

      Reply
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  • Dustin W. Stout

    June 20, 2011

    I actually have walked into a glass door once. I had just arrived at a friends house where a bunch of people from church were having a huge potluck. I looked into the house, saw a bunch of friends and went to walk into the house, not realizing the sliding glass door was in fact NOT open.

    The grease mark from my face stayed on the door the rest of the night as a constant reminder. Lol

    Reply
    • Dustin

      June 21, 2011

      Ha! I bet you had a good laugh afterwards. :)

      Reply

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