It was the summer of ’96 and I had reached a place of desperation. Spencer was sentenced to 45 days in a juvenile detention center for a series of random crimes; from stealing cars, breaking and entering, pot possession to fighting. As I watched him led away in cuffs my heart tore. I made a decision to give his life over to God completely and I prayed for my son. He had left home at age 16 because he didn’t like my rules. I wrote him in lock-up and told him if he wanted to come home there would be the same rules. He decided to come home.
As the fall progressed I noticed subtle changes in him. He began to read the Bible. He threw out some CD’s, posters. There was a tangible brokenness and humility upon him, replacing a hard and rebellious heart. In December of 1996, right after Christmas, Spencer surrendered fully and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior. In January of ’97 he publicly made a commitment to follow Jesus at a church service. On the ride home he was quiet in the back seat, and then I heard him say,
“Ma, you know what?”
“I love Jesus so much.” His voice sounded soft and full of wonder, like when he was a child.
That night his left lung collapsed fully for no apparent reason. The ER doctor said he was two hours from cardiac arrest when he came in. He ended up requiring two surgeries and two weeks in the hospital. This experience brought even greater revelation to Spencer’s walk. He understood he had an enemy. And he fully grasped God’s promise of eternal life.
Spencer was intense as a Christian yet had a grace and humility on his life that was remarkable. He would either inspire or convict those around him. As his best friend Sandy Mclardy said, “Everything he did he gave 110%. A lot of who I am today is because of who Spencer was.” Sandy has pastored a church in New Jersey for three years now.
Spencer also suffered almost continually from mental torment. The accuser was relentless. As his mother, it was often painful to watch and he battled constantly with feelings of inadequacy, of not doing enough for God. Although he witnessed to all of his old friends about the love of Jesus and a changed life, he saw little fruit and would blame himself. Still he continued to pray for them. He would say to me,
“Who will pray for them if I don’t?”
When I think of Spence now, I see him shining in the light of God’s glory, rejoicing with the angels before His throne as the names of those he loved are written into the Lamb’s Book of Life. The harvest is plentiful. —John 12:24.