Sanctuary – My True Story about LSD, Jesus and the Ocean (spoken word)

The true story of how I took 27 hits of acid and tried to drown myself in the ocean thinking that I was the second coming of Jesus Christ.

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When I was 21
I thought I was Jesus
It was the LSD talking
But you know I believed it
I wasn’t a devout man
Yet that didn’t keep me
From trying to heal a homeless clan with my hands on Charleston’s upper King Street

Twenty-seven hits later
The puzzle pieces came together
In my mind, I knew I’d have to die
to be the savior
Folly Beach set the scene
Five thirty in the a.m.
Finished waitin, mind racin’
Time to do what I came for

Dove in, hit the ocean
All alone no flotation
My plan, to get tired and die
for my eternal mission
to rescue the world
From conflict hate and murder
To usher in peace
and God’s eternal kingdom order
You see, the drugs are quick
And deception runs deep
All day swimming, head spinning
Couldn’t see what was happening to me

When I finally came to
there was only blue all around
I was naked tired and knew
I had to get back on solid ground
Not being Jesus left me in a tight spot
Cause suddenly I had no eternal purpose to justify my suicide plot
Just a kid with a head full of drugs
gonna die
a senseless death, like so many others
parents asking why

Just another number
a statistic for the books
A product of this hedonistic culture
that looks its young people in the face
and denies all traces
Of meaning and purpose, claiming
That slime and time and chance is how life on earth was made

My head raced knowing
I was headed for the grave
That my fate would be the same
as the icons of my age
Hendrix, Farley, Joplin, Marley, Whitney Houston, Kurt Cobain
Rising stars falling hard
taken well before their day

Now I too would go their way
One more nameless face
fallen victim to the lie
that life means nothing
We’re all gonna die
And rot in the ground
Fade out without a sound
With no reason and no profound purpose like a merry go round at the circus

Yet as I stood on the brink of
death’s door
I knew in my heart there had to be more
That death is not the end
but a corridor that begins
an eternal reality that
we were all designed for

I knew that if heaven is for real
then hell must be too
And people like me don’t get shoed in,
a shroom kid, pot smoking, hippie toker, acid dropper, pill popper
with a messiah complex, no less,
trying to end his life, all a mess
No, I knew my fate was bleak
And that I couldn’t rest on the squeaky clean image I hid behind as a child
I was finally exposed, a fraud and a poser,
Crook, liar, thief, cheater, player,
the list goes on and

All I knew was
I was about to drown
so I swam with all my might
in hopes of touching down on solid ground
hoping that this fight
wasn’t over yet
just one more round
please it can’t end now
there must still be a chance
of getting back to land
safe and sound

I’m not dead, it’s not too late
Maybe I can still escape
Meeting this awful fate
the fruit of what I’d sown
made living for years with deaf ears
looking out only for my own pleasure
no I knew I deserved
this death in full measure
Still I longed for redemption
despite my situation’s bleak nature
Then the sun set
Smashing my hope all to bits
Knowing in my heart that I had been licked
Game over, time to quit, give it up
Sink down into the pit
of nothingness

Yet one final thought crept into my mind
And I prayed to God for the first time
in years, last try at salvation
by his hand not mine
A plea for mercy thrown up to the sky
I prayed a simple prayer
Lord if you would only spare
my fleeting life
I would never dare
to drink or drug again as long as I’m alive

The ground didn’t quake and nothing monumental occurred
aside from some birds
flying overhead and a whispered word
I love you

God heeded my prayer
and after 18 hours
out there at sea
I swam ashore at a place fittingly called the Sanctuary

Eighteen hours alone in the water
Is a tall order
Particularly considering
That I’m not much of a swimmer
Plus night before, didn’t get any sleep
Tripping hard, no food no drink
How I survived is no mystery
The miracle, man, is plain to see

Now ashore on Kiawah’s beach
seven miles from the inlet breach
where I began my epic swim
Jumped in
at Folly and landed by a whim
at a five star resort on Kiawah Island
The Sanctuary
too insane to be chance
this can only be
the work of God’s hand

Fast forward four days more,
I left through hospital doors
Twenty pounds lighter
Than my fighting weight, before
I had started out on
this marathon ocean tour

Now seven years later (15 years in 2020),
still sober
walking with the man
with the holes in his hands
the real Jesus
Living not for me, but for his glory
And although it seems
stranger than fiction
This is my true story


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