I spent the next year rambling around Europe, looking in art galleries, walking ancient footpaths, meeting people from around the world, trying different drugs. It was an open-ended kind of life, with me hoping to finally go to India, but not in any rush to get there. My travels might look purposeless to some but in hindsight, I know I was being guided. I encountered God’s presence in people who shared my journey especially one girl who became an instant friend, in words whispered into my heart in a contemporary art gallery in Venice, with a burst of light in a youth hostel in Athens, and in a visitation of snakes in a village in Turkey. I could open any of those stories for you for they all contain Easter power, but I’ll leap ahead to one of the most defining moments. My own literal mountain-top experience.
I’d found my way to a Christian community in Switzerland. Honestly, I was led there. I could not, not go there before I went home. I guess I will tell you what happened first. That burst of light I mentioned in the youth hostel…..I was travelling with that special girlfriend and we’d picked up a guy in a Turkish village. The three of us ended up in the youth hostel in Athens. He came to join us for breakfast and told us about some kids he’d met the night before while he’d been wandering the streets. They had told him about a place in Switzerland where you could stay free of charge for ten days and rap about religion. The people in this community believed the Bible was true. He said that he thought he’d go there and take one last look at the west before going east. He too was part of the Indian pilgrimage. It was 1970! When he said that, I saw a bright light flash across the room and I knew that I had to go to that place as well. I knew it so clearly. I could not, not go there. I didn’t know the name. I only knew it was Christian and near the town of Aigle. That’s all. But I knew I had to go there. Something was happening that was bigger than me. I didn’t understand it, but I did know something was happening.
Did you know the Spirit of God hangs out in youth hostels? In what unexpected place have you found God? Always with us. Always.
Love and prayers
Mystic in Motion
Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire
Companion on the Rivendell Way
Society Member of Shalem Institute for Contemplative Living