Meet Cities4Life Volunteer Aaron Casagranda
I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ at one of the toughest times in my life. I remember during those three months of June, July, and August of that year, two people helping me in that way. The one said, “Aaron, you need a moral compass”. The other said, “Aaron, you can’t straddle the fence”. There was actually a third that comes to mind, but I will save that interaction for later.
This second statement was made by someone I had previously done drugs with, but he was speaking the truth. He saw me, at that point, talking about the Lord, and even saw me reading the Bible. But he also saw that I was still living a homosexual and drug-addicted lifestyle. God was so patient with me. His Spirit was working in my life in a really amazing way. The lifestyle was becoming less and less appealing. The drugs weren’t taking me where they used to. The sexual immorality was resulting in shame and guilt, and I would afterward read the Bible to try and deal with it.
And that’s the other amazing thing. All of a sudden, the Bible wasn’t just another book. Jesus became so real to me. He really drew me, as the Scripture says, “with cords of kindness” (Hosea 11:4). I remember an especially vivid memory in a park in Seattle where I lived at the time, as I was reading Luke 23, how Jesus appeared to me, as He did to the men in that chapter. I didn’t physically see Him, but I knew He wasn’t in the grave anymore. I think it was in that instant I saw it was Him I had been looking for in “all the wrong places”.
The first statement, “Aaron you need a moral compass”, is something I didn’t connect with the Bible at the time that statement was made to me, but later, as time went on, and I continued to spend time in it, I came to realize that that is what God was saying through that woman. “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
God Himself was changing my attitude about the Bible, even as He was changing my attitude about the sin in my life. Being born-again is the greatest miracle, I believe, that the Lord performs. I saw how Jesus was becoming precious to me, and I desired to spend time with Him in His Word, and praying to Him. He began over time to give me a desire that others would know Him as I did. His was the third voice I referred to earlier, that spoke gently, but authoritatively to my heart in August of 2009, “Aaron, walk away and don’t look back”. That August was really the start of my new life in Christ. I have not touched drugs or alcohol since then, and I left the sexual immorality behind. God has put a fear in me that causes me to walk circumspectly, knowing that I must guard my heart, for it is the wellspring of life (see Proverbs 4:23).
So why do I feel compelled to minister outside the abortion clinic? Because I know that Jesus Christ is the answer for the mothers and dads and babies, and also the workers at the clinic. His Word is my authority for saying this. His Spirit and the transformation He has brought about in my life makes me desire that those there would come to know Christ in the way that I do. His Word to me is His word to those who come to the clinic: “Walk away, and don’t look back”. As Jesus said in Mark 1:15, “Repent and believe the gospel”.