Wish You Were Here (Michael's Story)

I was finally free! I raced through time and space totally unrestrained by the physical boundaries that had always tied me to my home planet. The music was loud and alive. The beat seemed to be in perfect harmony with my pounding heart. The singer revealed the mysteries of the ages in what he said and what he didn’t say. My emotions swooped and dived — one moment I was laughing hysterically, the next moment I wept bitterly. I was alone and tripping my brains out. Pink Floyd had totally captivated my soul.

Every once in a while I would open my eyes to reality. I was laying on the couch in my living room curled up in a ball. The room was dark except for the snow on the television screen. There was an eight-track tape of “Wish You Were Here” playing on my stereo. The flow of the music was broken every 15 minutes or so as the tape clicked to the next track. I preferred the fantasy — giving my soul over to wherever the acid and Pink Floyd wanted to take me. I closed my eyes and opened my mind.

The singer seemed to know the truth about what was going on in the world. He exposed the phony, back-slapping promoters that just wanted to exploit my gifts for their own selfish gain. “Have a cigar, you’re gonna go far.” Then he seemed to be telling me that I had no choice but to become like them, part of the insatiable beast (system). “Welcome to the machine.” At first I was sad and bitter about this unavoidable reality. Then I became indignant.

Was this why I was created — to be victimized by, and ultimately perpetuate this corrupt social structure? Was I just a pawn in a seemingly pointless chess game? Whose idea was this, anyway? I was 18 years old and all of the sudden life didn’t seem to hold the same promise that it once had.

Why should I be surprised? I had been lied to my whole life. My parents told me all about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and Jesus Christ. I felt so stupid as each lie was exposed. I hardened my heart a little more each time my trust was violated.

The singer passionately sang “Wish you were here.” Wish who was here? I realized that I was desperately alone. Not just in a physical sense, but there was no one who really knew me or understood me. But I needed somebody. I needed love. I needed a way out of this predicament. The singer exposed the hopelessness of my situation without giving me anything else to hope in. Was I just another “lost soul swimming in a fishbowl?”

Ten years later...

I dropped off my five-year-old daughter at my mother’s house for the day. I set out on the three-hour drive to Louisville. The Grateful Dead would be playing there. I wasn’t very familiar their music, but the scene was interesting and life was mostly boring so I decided to check it out. Besides that it was one of the few places that you could score real LSD.

As I drove alone on the interstate I thought about my life. So much had happened in such a short time. My wife left me a few years before to be with another man. She told me she loved me. I believed her. She and I became Christians together. Somebody told me that Jesus died for my sins. I believed them. I said a little prayer. They told me that I was forgiven for my sins. It wasn’t long before I was back into my same old lifestyle. Oh, I still believed that Jesus died for me, but somehow church life was a little too stale for my tastes.

I had a good career, a nice home, a decent car, always had money in my pocket and Jesus too. What a life! The “American Dream.” Only somehow I was unfulfilled. Life seemed pointless. It seemed like I was caught on this treadmill of working… paying bills… trying to get ahead… But where was I going? The singer was right after all (or so it seemed).

I arrived at Freedom Hall around noon. It wasn’t long before I found what I was looking for and dosed. I stood there in the parking lot and played my guitar and sang until the acid kicked in and I couldn’t play anymore. I spent the rest of the day wandering around taking in the scene.

Evening came and about half the people in the parking lot went into the show. I hadn’t come for the show. Why did I come? I continued to wander aimlessly. Then I heard some beautiful music. It was very different from the other music I had heard that day. I unconsciously drifted towards its source. I came upon this very unusual maroon and cream double-decker bus. This music seemed to be coming from the other side. I walked around the bus.

Yahshua’s Family

It was as if I had walked through a door and entered into another place and time. There they were! I found them, or did they find me? They were beautiful! They held hands and danced in a circle around a sapling in the light of a full moon. Their steps were in perfect harmony. They looked happy and peaceful and somehow clean. There was a small band of musicians playing the beautiful music that drew me to them.

I wept. A young woman was walking around handing out papers to those who watched. She was obviously one of them. She stopped in front of me and looked into my eyes. I had never seen anyone so beautiful as she was. Her eyes were bright and clear and full of warmth. She had a big beaming smile on her face. We stood there for a very long time. I continued to weep. Finally, she asked me why I was crying. I told her I didn’t know. She invited me on their bus.

I found out that these people have been brought together from every imaginable walk of life. They told me that they were part of a new social order founded on love. Well you don’t hear that every day! Everything they told me sounded too good to be true. Yet I couldn’t deny that there was something very unusual about these people. There seemed to be some kind of radiance coming from them — a purity. It was very intriguing. They told me that they follow Yahshua - the Son of God, written about in the bible. Could it be that there really is a way to know God’s Son and truly be forgiven? Is He really gathering His children from all of the places they are scattered? I had trusted so many times and ended up disappointed.

It took me another year after I met the Community before I finally went to Vermont to visit them. My daughter and I came to see the life that I heard about on the bus that night. It was everything they told me, and so much more.

I found a true family who shared the same heart - a new heart and a new life — all because of their King — Yahshua the Messiah. They were happy and thankful and at peace with one another. There were no rich or poor among them, because they shared all that they had with one another. The married couples seemed very much in love with one another, even after many years of marriage. The children were cheerful and obedient and very friendly. Their life was living proof to me that God sent His Son and that He loves us.

What I Learned about Yahshua

God actually sent His only Son to the earth to walk as a man. Yahshua was fully human. He laughed and cried, sang and danced, and He loved. He saw our condition firsthand. Yahshua saw how lost and lonely and confused we were. His heart ached to see mankind in this state. He knew that we were created for something much greater. Yahshua gave Himself completely to those who came near Him. He fed them and healed them and He told them the truth. He told them who he was and what was going to happen to Him and how they could follow Him.

Yahshua knew that His purpose was to restore our worth, our dignity, our glory — to take away the sin that separated us from our loving Creator. He understood that it would cost Him everything to buy us back from the spiritual death we were in and the eternal separation that awaited many of us in the Sea of Fire. But we were worth it to Him. He was able to look past our rough exterior and see our heart. He believed that when we saw how much His Father loved us, we would respond to His love and come back to Him.

Yahshua went to death in our place. Because He never sinned, God received Him as a righteous sacrifice for our sin. Because there was no resistance in Yahshua, He was able to receive in three days what we wouldn’t have been able to receive in eternity. Once our sin was paid for, death no longer had any claim on this innocent man. Yahshua rose to life after three days and nights as the scriptures said He would, never to die again. Through the blood of Yahshua, we can be forgiven and be reconciled to God — to be with Him forever and ever.

This is true freedom. We are no longer in bondage to our own insatiable, selfish desires. We’ve received the deepest desire of our heart — the love and approval of our Creator. We don’t have to be alone anymore.

Welcome to the Machine?

The Machine (this present world social order) is a trap. It is designed to lull you to sleep. You hardly notice how it trains you to love what is evil and hate what is good. The master of the machine — the ruler of this world — Satan, has been judged. He killed the only innocent man that ever lived — God’s own Son.

If you love the machine, you are not only part of it, but you will work with it to destroy the lives of other people. Ultimately, you will share in its fate when Yahshua returns to destroy it.

If you love Yahshua, you will take His hand and let Him lead you out of this present evil age and into eternal life where you will fulfill everything He had on His heart for you since the beginning of time. God loves you so much that He gave you a free will. You do have a choice! You are accountable for the choices that you make. Choose life!

Wish You Were Here...

I know now why I wept when I saw them. Somehow, in my spirit, I knew that I found my people. I had found my home! I left my former life behind and took Yahshua up on His offer of forgiveness. It’s been seventeen years since we came. I’m not disappointed. My daughter is twenty-three now and has a little daughter of her own and a very wonderful husband. She is wonderful young woman who loves our Master Yahshua with all of her heart. We long to see others rescued like we were. Our home and our hearts are open to you.
~ Michael

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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