What Happens When You Actually Know How Loved You Are?

By Chris Hammond

When I was living in Houston, I worked as a greeter at an upscale bowling alley, which also dubbed as a bar/restaurant. My job was to seat people on a lane and give them their shoes and bowling balls. I went to work every day, totally overwhelmed with the Love of God and it caused most of my co-workers to ask me if I was on drugs. I was asked, a few times, if I was smoking crack. Another friend thought I was on shrooms. And another, acid or ecstasy. Haha! I couldn’t help but laugh when they asked me and I just took the opportunity to tell them that I was high as a kite… but not on drugs. I told them that I get high on Jesus and that my joy is from God. That His love is better than wine and there is no high on the planet that could ever compare. Needless to say, for a long time they thought I was absolutely insane.

Drunk in Public

On a Friday night, I was being my usual, happy self, frolicking through the place, when the security guard stopped me…

“Hey man, I don’t know what you’re on, but seriously!”

“Hahaha! Dude, I’m high as a kite right now! But I’m not on drugs!”

He raised an eyebrow, “There’s no way anyone can be as happy as you are right now without being on something!”

I laughed, “Man, I’m high on God…”

He looked at me even more perplexed.

“I know it sounds crazy but—”

“No. Please, go on. I’m intrigued.”

I was so overjoyed! I smiled and I felt my face light up, “The overwhelming joy that you see me experiencing right simply comes from my awareness of my absolute innocence in the eyes of God! The truth is that you are innocent in God’s eyes too! He looks at you with such joy and approval! He loves you so much and you can feel what I’m feeling too! Can I pray for you to experience this?”

He was dumbfounded. In a daze, he finally found the words, “Yeah… please pray for me.”

I put my hand on his shoulder, “Yeah man…  I just pray right now that your heart would be overwhelmed with the ecstatic joy of heaven. That the Love of the Father would embrace you in such a tangible way! Dad, I pray that you help him to feel you. To know you. To feel the warmth of your embrace and the joy of your smile. Thank you that you love him and that you are with him and you’ll never leave him! Thank you, Dad, that he is so blessed and you are so proud of him.”

His eyes were filling with tears, “Wow. I think the only time I’ve ever felt the way you’re feeling right now was the day my daughter was born. Thank you so much!”

My security guard friend experienced a Love that he hadn’t known, that night. It was such a beautiful thing to see and an honor to be a part of.

Papa’s Love

A couple days later, there were several children laughing, surrounded by smiling parents. They were gathered in honor of one of the boys for his birthday. I had some downtime so I just stood at the front desk and observed, while the boy  opened his gifts. My first thought was, “Whoa! That kid is getting some awesome stuff!”

My focus then shifted to his parents and his friends. Then it hit me. They were all there to celebrate this one boy and lavish him with affection and toys that they knew he would love. A thought crossed my mind, “What would I be feeling if I were at that party and that boy was my son?”

I felt my heart swell up within me. Tears danced their way through my eyes. I was overwhelmed.

I found myself taking cover. I went into the room where the bowling balls were kept, in order to escape anyone’s sight.  I just stood there, awestruck.  I didn’t know what to think. I was so moved by the unconditional love of a Father in that moment. I didn’t know what it was like to have children, yet I was feeling such deep love for a child I don’t even know.

It was then that my heart leaped at the voice of my Papa, “Imagine the best dad in the entire world, multiply that goodness times a million, and you’ll find that I’m still infinitely better.”

Joy took over. Happy waterfalls poured from my eyes. My Dad gave me a glimpse into his heart in such a profound way. He let me feel the smallest portion of the feelings he has toward me perpetually. I was so blown away!

After I composed myself and my eyes were dry, I walked back to the front desk where I was reminded of the conversation I had with my security guard friend only two nights earlier. He was experiencing Papa’s love in such a tangible way, and his only relatable comparison was his own love for his daughter and the joy that came with her birth. We have an extremely good Father! His Love is beyond words and when the heart experiences his reality, there are no words—only tears, laughter, and a transformational impact reflected through our lives.

Drinking on the Job

Over the course of the few months that I worked there, many of my co-workers had encounters with a Jesus they had never dreamed to exist—a few of them claiming to be agnostic when I had met them. I often talked of being drunk on the love of God and how there is a river of life flowing from me and that Jesus turns water into wine. Several times, they looked on while I dipped an invisible cup into an invisible river flowing out of me, only to drink my invisible wine and experience noticeable drunkenness. They had no idea what to think of me… and I was totally amused. They could sense the unconditional acceptance that flowed, though. I made a point to tell everyone how awesome they are every time I was at work.

One of my favorite memories of Jesus scheming with me to surprise my skeptical friends was when I overheard a few of my co-workers, along with one of my managers laughing when one of them shouted, “Hey Chris, how ‘bout a shot of glory?” I knew they were trying  to mock me, yet I was so confident of the reality of what they were about to experience.

I walked toward them with a beaming grin on my face, “Okay! Haha!”

“Okay, how do we do this?”

“Alright guys, each of us has a river flowing out of his belly right now whether you feel it or see it or believe it or not. It’s there. Jesus turns water into wine, so you actually have a river of the most intoxicating substance in the universe flowing through you right now. Okay, now take your cup,” I held up my hand as if proposing a toast, with an invisible glass.

They did the same.

“Okay, now dip your cup in your river.”

They all dipped theirs in front of my belly.

I laughed, “Dude! You guys have your own river! Use yours!”

“Mine is polluted, I want yours,” my manager laughed.

“No bro, you’re clean! You can drink from your own river!”

He dipped his cup into his own invisible river of glory.

“Cheers, guys!”

We all knocked the glory back as if we were taking a shot.

There were four of us. Three of us, my manager included, were laughing hysterically. We were instantly hammered drunk.

“Do you guys feel that?” I slurred.

They were stumbling, “Oh my God! Yeah! Whoa! This is real?!”

The one who wasn’t laughing just stood there gawking at us, “You guys are crazy! You’re making it up!”

The other two slurred back, “No man! This is really happening!”

I began to explain to them what was going on. I told them that what they were experiencing was a tangible manifestation of heaven. I told them that Jesus is the one totally responsible for their drunkenness! Haha! They were so blown away that God was actually so much fun!

Over time, many of my co-workers would come to me while having a rough day and ask, “Hey Chris, I’m having a rough day, man. How about a shot of glory?” only to follow up by saying, “Thank you! I needed that! I feel so much better!”

Most of my co-worker friends often came to support me, while I played my music at open-mics around town. I was surprised to find out how much they actually appreciated me and enjoyed my music. I often found myself having late nights at IHOP with my friends from work, eating pancakes and talking about Jesus and how different he is from the Jesus religion had led them to believe. One of my most cherished moments during those late nights was when  I was with a couple of my friends, when one of them said to me, “You know, Chris, when we first met you we thought you were crazy. But now after hearing your stories and your songs and seeing the way you treat everyone as equal, we’re starting to wonder if we are the ones who are crazy and you actually know the truth.”

Once again, Love proves Himself victorious. He wins the hearts of those who resist, melting the rejection away through His unfailing compassion, understanding, patience, kindness, fun, and His genuine desire to be with us.

Overwhelming joy and absolute satisfaction are inevitable byproducts of the total awareness of our innocence before God. His joy is contagious and people often may think we’re on drugs, because to them, “It’s impossible for someone to be that happy without being on something!” Curiosity on their part will cause you to be a walking encounter, introducing the masses to their Father, revealing their childlike innocence!

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