My Encounter with God

September 29, 2011

Like I said, I had a knockout encounter with God this past Sunday. It all started innocuously enough: I sat down in the morning to see what was new in my Google+ circles.

I’m gradually starting to use Google+ more, especially as a way to follow people who teach me. Jamie Arpin-Ricci is one of them, and he had just shared a new posting about The Four-Fold Pattern of Franciscan Prayer, which I’d never heard of.

I started to read… but was utterly captivated by the image he used of St. Clare and St. Francis. I read the post but kept coming back to the image:

The heart-filling awe. The joy.

The image plunged me into prayer about wanting what I saw in the painting. Sometimes prayer feels like a one-way thing, but this was a remarkably clear conversation. Ultimately it led to the hot tub. There, the conversation became even clearer, and very specific. As I hinted in my previous post, it did in fact end in full immersion.

While still drying off from my self-administered baptism, I got a call from Kay asking me to get to church pronto with an emergency guitar for our worship leader. That got me there early, with time to process what I’d experienced. I joined in the pre-service prayer, where the production manager started by reminding everyone to set aside their hard work of the morning and to fall back into the presence of Christ. Wham, that took me down as if someone had popped me behind the knees.

Then the service started. For the second song, our worship leader introduced All Creatures of Our God and King, explaining that it was written by St. Francis. Wham again. Our former intern, now our newest staff member, preached on the passion I’ve held for so long: Hanging out with “sinners.” Ka-wham. During worship, I went back to receive prayer. There’s a team of people who offer prayer, and the person I got gave me strong words of blessing. Wham BAM!

Over lunch, I tried to explain to Kay everything that had happened. I carried out the clear instructions I had received for how to bless her; she was moved. I rambled on; she blessed me back. I couldn’t hold back tears of joy.

This was all very intense! Hours of intensity, from early in the morning, and I was wiped out. I took an extra-long nap, but still felt the need for relief. So for our Sunday night family movie, I chose this:

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Ahh, the perfect antidote.

Your turn: What are you experiencing — or not experiencing — in this season of your spiritual journey?

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

5 responses to My Encounter with God

  1. Jon, I’m not seeing much beauty in my experiences. I know God is with me, but sadly I feel as I am choosing to feel put upon rather than trusting in my relationship with God. My hope is that this will soon pass and stories such as the one you’re unvailing offer hope and encouragement to a lonely, dried up guy just trying to make it day-by-day. Thank you sir!

    • Dave, I’ve been praying for you.
      I want to be careful not to try to superimpose my journey onto yours. But I’ll share what happened with me, in case there are any similarities.
      My long journey was mainly God stripping me of anything I could point to as “fruit.” My question became, “Didn’t you call me?” His answer, that he had to keep repeating, was, “Can you believe that I love you, apart from anything you are or aren’t doing?” Frustrating!
      I know God is working out his plan for you. It just sucks right now. Hang in there, friend.

  2. Jon, I just started following this guy. Turns out he also lives in Winnipeg. We overlap so much!