Last week I had the privilege of hearing Gram Seed speak to 800 young people in two secondary schools, as well as to a wider assortment of folk at two evening events. Gram tells an amazing story (I heard it eight times in total, and it didn't get tedious) of how he was transformed from a violent criminal into a compassionate follower of Jesus. (See a local minister's take on the first evening event).
I was thinking about the word "testimony" recently. It's a peculiar word, one that you either hear in court or in church. I was on the verge of consigning "testimony" to my Christian jargon bin, until someone pointed out that its more than a fancy word for "story". To testify means to bear witness about, to give evidence in order to establish a fact.
In other words, while my "story" is all about me, my "testimony" is not all about me - it is simply my account of the things I've seen. A Christian's testimony is evidence that points toward Jesus.
Hearing Gram's testimony, I wonder what those who doubt God's existence, love and saving power must think of it. In a similar vein to C.S. Lewis's 'Lunatic, liar or Lord' principle, they must think Gram is either deluded or deliberately lying to people. The only other option is that the story is true.
While we may not be able to satisfy the demands of some to see proof of God's existence, there is a lot of weight in a testimony.