My Story: Tim Burke
"I was going out that night trying to find the fulfillment for this achy, emptiness that I had inside."
In high school, I heard from the family grapevine that my uncle had gotten religion and I was instructed to stay away from him.
As a TWA pilot, he would come through when he had a couple of days layover and stay with us frequently. I probably spent a year avoiding him.
My parents left town and went up to Wisconsin for an airshow and I was left home with my uncle. I was a junior in high school and I had a pretty great night planned. I had cases of beer stashed under the bushes in front of my house and for the first time in my life I was going to be going out with a girl that had a bad reputation.
In spite of these things, he cornered me on the couch and proceeded to preach Christ. I was waiting on my friend, Brian, to pick me up and he didn’t come and he didn’t come and he didn’t come.
My uncle kept preaching Christ.
Somewhere in the middle of the conversation — I don’t remember what it was that he said — but he said something that caught my attention. And I listened. I was going out that night to find the fulfillment for the achy, emptiness that I had inside, even at the age of 16.
I realized what my uncle was talking about was exactly what I needed in my life. He told me about the Four Spiritual Laws.
He got to the end and asked me if I wanted to repent and receive Christ. I wanted to, but I was so embarrassed because of what I had planned to go do that night, so I disengaged.
He said, “Hey, look. It’s not between you and me. It’s between you and God. If you want to receive Christ, this is kind of how you do it.” He talked me through it.
I got up and went to the other side of the house and closed the door of my bedroom. I knelt down next to my bed. I don’t remember exactly what I prayed, but I asked the Lord to be the leader of my life--you know, change me.
I got done praying and sat back on my heels and literally, I was so ignorant--I looked up at the ceiling and I had two thoughts: I don’t hear organ music and there’s no light beams coming through the ceiling.
But I walked out and as soon as I locked eyes with my uncle, it was as if a robe of filthiness fell off of me and I began to weep.
Brian never did show up.
But what I remember most was the next week. I went to school Monday morning carrying a Bible in my hand and within 3 days I was confronted in the hallway by a guy who said, “What? You’re carrying a Bible? That’s such a crutch!”
And the Holy Spirit just gave me wisdom and I handed the Bible to him and said, “Then, you carry it.” He got a very scared look on his face and turned around and fled. I realized right away that something really, really special that happened to me.
Would you like to know God personally?
Tim lives in California. He is a fitness fanatic. He enjoys weightlifting, target shooting and spending time with his children.