The Raye Story

Raye "you could be a ray of light"     by lgs

It didn't take long to write the song Raye. It was a "download song", a time with the Holy Spirit, where after the song is written (20 minutes later), I am in awe and usually on my knees crying.  During this process my emotions are high, it feels surreal and incredibly intimate at the same time. Below is the story that spurred this cool little song.

Raye Trott thought Christianity was ridiculous, stupid, bigoted and shallow. He would ramble on with these opinions’ night after night at the pub where I worked.  You heard right, almost every night Raye would come in, I can still hear his old Harley Davidson roaring into the parking lot, the “biker guy”. Raye was well known in the community, a "fixture" some would say.

I first met this guy Raye when a friend/customer brought him into the pub where I worked, I shook his hand, said hello and served him a beer. Little did I know the story that would unravel from meeting this tall drink of water in the years to come. A week or so later, early one afternoon, Raye came sauntering into the bar just as we were opening up. Nobody was in the place and I was busy stocking for the night ahead. I didn't recognize him at first, all I could see was his silhouette in the dusty ray of light as he stood by the door. He said in a bit of a drawl, "I heard you're a joy seeker and I want to hear your story."  So I told him my story to Jesus Christ, but not until I went down into the beer cooler to pray to God that He gives me the right words to say to this guy.  Truthfully, I was hoping Raye would change his mind and forget he asked once I got back upstairs because I didn't feel prepared and I felt vulnerable. Well, he asked me again, seeming to be earnestly interested in my testimony. When I was finished I gave him a CD and made him promise he would listen all the way through. Before Raye left the bar he threatened to kick my butt if he happened to get saved and laughed a cynical cackle of a laugh.

I soon regretted telling Raye any part of my story because Raye turned against me! He'd come in and continue to tell me that he hated that I was a Christian and had no problem letting me and all my other customers know. I put up with his incessant heckling for a few months until finally, one busy Saturday night, Raye pushed his face over the bar, through a crowd of people and said in a loud voice "why are you even here? We are all sinner's here, why are you here?" At this point I was so frustrated, I didn't care heard our conversation, I retorted, “I am a sinner too Raye, but my sins are washed clean because of what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. Get back in the Bible, your answers are there Raye, and you know it!” (In our very first conversation he had told me his mom was a religious fanatic and made him read the Bible when he was a kid).

Well, the very next day I was home playing my guitar and the song Raye came onto me like wild fire, my emotions were high, every line was blowing me away.  It was a very special time with the Lord. I started used the song the next day at a concert and told the story of  my encounter with Raye, relating it to how difficult it can sometimes be to give my testimony ... yet the Lord has His own timing and it seemed to be a Divine appointment and bla bla bla!

But I felt a gnawing in my heart that I should tell this guy Raye I was talking about him ... to Christians of all people! I felt convicted and shared the song with him though I was afraid of what he would say, he was so cynical and mean. I braced myself for a lambasting but as crazy as it sounds, I was wrong. When I finally told Raye that I was talking about him at my concerts, I sang him the song A cappella ... and he LOVED IT. I was shocked! After that, oddly enough, Raye and I became friends of sorts. He still heckled me, but it was more like a friendly teasing. The shift was that I felt he, at least, respected my faith ... as much as he could. He even sang his verse "hey joy seeker could you get any weaker trowing your coat down for your enemy", at a customer appreciation party we had at the pub. Once, Raye told me that he thought he might be "turning the page", referring to a line in the song. I knew Jesus was chasing after Raye, pursuing him, trying to get his attention. This time of getting to know Raye and watching the Holy Spirit chase him lasted approximately three years.

And then on August 11th, 2007 the unthinkable happened ... Terry Raye Trott died in a freak boating accident on Long Lake in Naples, Maine. The entire town was in shock after the accident happened. The man who hit Raye with his big "speed boat" was going way too fast and it was at night, the big boat ended up on the shore with the roar of it's engine still running. There were only pieces of Raye's boat left in the water and their bodies weren't discovered until days later. Everybody was hoping it wasn't Raye's little boat that got pummeled but we all knew it was. Raye had a new girlfriend and she died too, leaving two teenage kids behind. After dragging the lake for several days they finally did find the bodies, the community was hit hard, we all felt it. 

Interestingly, three days before Raye died, he came into the bar to see me. I hadn’t seen much of him. But when I did see him I noticed his drinking was affecting his moods and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be naughty or nice. This day Raye looked me in the eye and he said "honey, I listened to your CD today ... and it gave me chills." I said, "That’s good Raye," surprised he was being nice.

Have you ever personally witnessed somebody being pursued by the Lord? Raye had many opportunities to accept Jesus' love and turn his head towards God but instead he turned away. God does not force us to love Him, what kind of love would it be if we were forced to love God? So did Raye go to heaven? Many thought so. I tried to hide my grief which was more about where he was going than that he had died. People don't want to talk about hell, especially Christians.

How are you feeling after reading this story? Do you think it is foolish and selfish of me to think that it is very possible that Raye is in Hell? I struggle with that too. I want to think that Raye, at some point in the three years God was pursuing him, received Jesus. But I didn't see any evidence of that in Raye, no fruit.

But none of that really matters now ... the song Raye lives on to tell Raye's story and more importantly, to talk about Jesus' love and pursuit for us. What do you think? Do you know someone like Raye? Are you someone like Raye? Send me a line, let's chat! L

RAYE   by lgs
 
Just a sinner in a sinner’s body, in a sinner’s world,

in a sinner’s mind
I don’t expect you to understand

you got the television tuned on all the time.
Take a chance, read a page,

the book of John might start your cravin’
I don’t know what to say, you wouldn’t believe me anyway
 
Raye you could be a ray of light
If were to ch ch ch ch change your appetite
Raye you  could be a ray of light
If you were only willin’ to stand up right
 
Hey joy seeker could you get any weaker,

laying your coat down for your enemy?
You can’t change my mind, it’s closed tight this time,

nobody, nobody gonna get me.
Won’t you tell me, tell me your story, tell me your life?
Won’t you tell me so I can keep it wrapped in my anger

and add to my strife.
 
Raye you could be a ray of light
If were to ch ch ch ch change your appetite
Raye you  could be a ray of light
If you were only willin’ to stand up right
Raye, you could be a ray of light just let go,

don’t try to fight it
Raye you could be a ray of light just let go

and let God ignite it
 

Don’t look back, don’t worry about the next day
What’s that crack, Raye what did you say, what did you say?
What did you say? What did you say?
 

Raye you could be a ray of light
If were to ch ch ch ch change your appetite
Raye you  could be a ray of light
If you were only willin’ to stand up right
Raye, you could be a ray of light just let go,

don’t try to fight it
Raye you could be a ray of light just let go

and let God ignite it
 
 
Just a sinner in a sinner’s body,

in a sinner’s world, in a sinner’s mind

 

 
   


 
 

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