So now I am in the community in Switzerland. I drove all the way, by myself (but I know now I really wasn’t by myself!) from the south of Turkey, through Greece, and Italy to find Aigle and a Christian community nearby. When I asked at the gendarme station in my broken French for a religious community, they told me there were two, both on the same road. At the top was one led by Timothy Leary and further down the mountain was one led by Francis Schaeffer. I’d already done the drug route and didn’t want any more (that’s another Easter story) so I followed the directions to Schaeffer to give him a try.
After ten days in his community, I was totally confused. They fed my body with yummy food, and my soul with respect for they too were Truth Seekers. At last, I had found people who were questing for life’s meaning as I was. There was ample room to ask questions and I was encouraged to write out my beliefs. I heard their faith stories and perspective on life. Nothing made sense to me. After ten days I was told I’d asked enough questions and it was suggested that I go for a walk in the mountains. I didn’t like been told that but instinctively I agreed. I needed to be on my own away from the community, with space to think and feel. We were high in the mountains, and I set out on a trail to somewhere. I couldn’t walk very far. I couldn’t think. I felt like a piece of flotsam being tossed over Niagara Falls. I could barely hold a thought in my mind. I sat on a rock, staring over the valley when suddenly it was as if I was given a new set of glasses. I saw everything differently. Everything. I knew that God was real, not some figment of my imagination, not a philosophical concept to argue about around a campfire, not a benign presence in outer space, but a warm, loving presence right here. I knew Jesus was real, not a storybook character, but a Spirit-saturated-being, God’s son, who was with me. I knew sin was real, that the Bible described the world truly and that there was an evil presence in the world. Whoosh in one moment I saw all that. I knew I belonged to God. And then to wrap it up, the earth, the whole creation lying before me, suddenly shimmered. It was alive with the Creator’s goodness.
It’s been over fifty years since that deeply transformative event. It was a moment of knowing, a moment where I was changed. Easter Sunday with trumpets blaring.
Sometimes I wonder why I’ve had such experiences. One friend lovingly called me a ‘2×4’ Christian. I had to be hit over the head with a ‘2×4’. The ‘why’ I don’t know, but I do know that I want to live worthy of the spiritual clobbering I’ve been given. The story of God’s love for me, for each of us continues. I don’t know any story that is more important but I think that’s all I share right now.
Maybe it’s time to recall your defining moments. They won’t be like mine. We are all different, so the moment will be yours. God is real. Jesus shows us, teaches us about God’s heartbeat. How have you experienced that heartbeat of LOVE?
I’ll be returning to my computer shortly. Thank you for listening to my snippets. It helps me to share them with you.
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