I can’t wait to share this part of the story with you.
If you haven’t yet listened to the My Friend Luis podcast, now might be a good time to get started. When we finished those twelve episodes, Luis and I thought we had told an amazing story of redemption and God’s intervention in the life of a young boy in Mexico and how it came to greater fruition in his adult life. We had no idea that this story wasn’t yet finished and that the best was yet to come.
As the original podcast aired, Luis came to me and asked if he could tell me a story he had never told anyone else. It took most of that day and two subsequent Saturday mornings for the whole story to spill out as he described the tragedy of his father’s death and the terrors he suffered that night as a fourteen-year-old boy alone on a dangerous mountain. His emotions were still as raw as if these events had happened the night before. Obviously, I didn’t record those sessions and was initially glad that this came out after the podcast was finished. I was not sure this story was appropriate for a wider audience though I was incredibly honored that he would let me walk with him through such a painful story.
But when Luis’ childhood friend, Raphael, showed up in the middle of that with insights that illuminated this event in Luis’ larger story, that’s when we knew that this story had to be shared. Luis had not seen him in thirty-five years since the night he helped Luis escape from the drug cartel that you can hear about in Episode 5. He is the stranger Luis met in the mountains near his home as a young boy who was either a very gifted human, a fabrication of Luis’ imagination, or most probably an angel who has appeared to Luis in human form to give him wisdom and help him through a time of need. On Good Friday night this year, Raphael surprised Luis by walking up behind him as he was walking to his car near midnight. Their conversation provided Luis with great clarity and encouragement.
We’ve waited three months to make sure that the re-telling of the story of his father’s death and its aftermath would be part of a healing process and not prolong his pain. That part of the story is not easy to hear, and listener discretion is advised since there are graphic descriptions of violence, death, and attempted suicide. But how God got a terrified teenager through such a harrowing ordeal, even though Luis had no idea who it was helping him, is well-worth hearing.
Yes, these engagements with Raphael are among the strangest things I’ve ever heard, but there’s no denying that Luis and I are witnessing amazing healing and the unfolding of God’s glory in the darkness. I’m excited that we can now complete this story.
We’ve completed the recording and are now editing these podcasts to be released on the dates below:
Episode 13 – Terror in the Mountains
When his dad suffers a heart attack in the mountains with darkness closing in and a pack of coyotes on the prowl, Luis has to find a way to rescue his dad.
Episode 14 – Jumping to the Wrong Conclusion
Due to an unfortunate mix-up and Luis’ inability to talk, instead of comforting him after his terrible ordeal, his family turns on him calling him a coward and blaming him for his father’s death.
Episode 15 – Raphael Returns
Thirty-five years later, on a Good Friday night, Raphael appears to Luis with comfort and wisdom to bring healing to the guilt and anguish Luis suffered from his father’s death.
If you haven’t heard the previous episodes yet, you might want to go on a serious binge in the next couple of weeks. You can download it at iTunes or your favorite podcast provider. Just search on “My Friend Luis” or go to the Subscribe page. This is a story of great grace in the midst of great pain and a God that can heal the deepest wounds of the human heart and set us free to live in his glory.