I am participating in a discussion group (for me online; for others, either online and/or IRL) with the First Lutheran Church of Jamestown, N.Y. on the book, Holy Conversation: Talking About God in Everyday Life by Richard Peace. I was invited to the group by Tara Lamont Eastman, with whom I have become acquainted through the blog Sleeping with Bread and now her own blog Uphill Idealist. This will be the first post as part of that group.
The first discussion point is based on the question: “We are all on a spiritual journey, so…Tell a brief story about when God first came alive to you.” What is your story?
God first “came alive” for me when I was two or three years old. I had burnt my hand on an plug I plugged into an outlet in an upstairs room of our house. My hand, which normally is white (well, pinkish flesh as I was, and still am. Caucasian), turned black. I remember crying out and my aunt Joan, who lived with us at the time and was in the same room, rushing to me. According to my mother, my aunt took me downstairs to where my mother was to get it cleaned under a faucet, prayed for me and my burnt hand, I don’t remember which one. Then afterward as my mother read a book to me, she noticed that my hand was no longer burnt.
This was before I said the Sinner’s Prayer with my mother at the age of four and “accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” Did I know what I was doing? No more than an infant in the Catholic Church knows, but I believe God’s hand was placed on me just the same as an infant who is baptized. Does this mean I was “saved” at that moment in terms of eternal security and all that jazz? I don’t believe so as the choice was, and is, still mine to choose or reject — just as the Israelites in Deuteronomy — did the blessing or the curse.
Regardless of that question, that moment was my first concrete experience with God for better and sometimes worse – since as for those of us who are Christians and even for those of you who are not Christians, but of others faiths, or no faith at all know that God, life, the universe and everything doesn’t always work in such dramatic ways. Often God, life, the universe and everything works in extremely more quiet ways than that, with a whisper and not a shout.