Jason Lewis - Alumni Spotlight
How do you fit ten years worth of life in 500 words? Don’t even try it. Just describing the pre-bedtime antics of my two year old could bust the data capacity of a Kindle. Better to aim at a period of time or event that best reflects my journey as a Multnomah graduate in 2001 to a small business owner, father of three children, and husband in 2011. Better yet to bridge that period of time to a life lesson learned at Multnomah. I told them I needed Dr. Lockwood’s
space in the publication, but was flatly refused. So, squeezed into this section forces me to synthesize, as I’ve not yet done, what exactly happened after graduation. In the six months after resigning my commission from the United States Army, the question does occur often. One obvious answer is September 11th 2001. Yes, for everyone it was a significant event that changed our lives. How frustrating to be searched exhaustively, intrusively every time we want to fly. But for a freshly minted 2nd Lieutenant the consequences were a bit more personal.
Life lesson from Multnomah
Your life is not your own. In the Army, this is true in a very legal sense with immediate consequences if you want to see them. Our first three years in the military, serving on the island of Oahu, beguiled us into thinking the Army was predictable with very little sacrifice. Then came the next five years, two of which would be spent away from my family. Of course, this is what I signed up for. Our walk with Christ can evolve much the same way: we decide to join the ranks of the redeemed, there is a period when the sacrifice doesn’t seem all that demanding, finally the pound of flesh is extracted and you either survive or don’t. The pound of flesh extracted from my good friend Bobby Grow was cancer. He and his wife battled it for over a year.
A week ago, we sat together in the cafeteria on Multnomah’s campus. Both survivors, we wondered how we could still fret about life’s more trivial matters when the truth tells us we are owned. We are property of a generous, all-powerful Father who is deeply interested in our future. War, disease, and unemployment have no effect on Christ. He only needs to hold up nail-scarred hands to remind the world it took a shot and was both defeated and saved. Bobby and I share those scars with Jesus. At one time, I entertained a vision of post-life in heaven with the saints. We would all slap backs and laugh together at all the things we endured on earth. I don’t have that vision anymore. I don’t believe it. Rather, I imagine a grave memorial to the pain and struggle we children experienced. Grave and somber like the smoke billowing from the depths of hell – another reminder that things could have been much worse. The scars we all carry, in solidarity with Christ, should remind us to place our short lives in perspective. We are owned, we are loved, and we are fully accounted for.
Meet the Author
Jason attended Multnomah from 1998 to 2001, where he earned a Greek degree and met the love of his life, Elizabeth. Together they have three children: Cambria (5), Ezekiel (2), and Sophia (1). Jason interned with Senator Mark Hatfield for two years before graduating and taking a commission with the United States Army. Over a ten-year period, Jason deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa in support of nation-building efforts. He currently resides in Stayton, Oregon where he owns and operates Evergreen Home Inspections.