Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Promise

25 years ago, during Memorial Day weekend, I was baptized by the Holy Ghost. I realize that it's not cool to say this, and that many of you probably won't even know what I'm talking about, but that is what happened to me is called. I had a direct encounter with the spirit of Jesus that has affected me to this day. For me, there's no other way to put it.

I was praying by myself, at home in the afternoon. I remember asking for the Holy Spirit to come to me, as I had before. This time, without warning but gently, I had the sensation of liquid light being poured on my head and flowing slowly like honey down through my body. In those few moments everything changed. I saw a brilliant light in my mind coming from above and heard a voice that just said "Trust me." That voice has stayed with me to this day and I believe in my heart it is Jesus. I tried to respond with thanks, but all that came out of my mouth were odd syllables. I was speaking in "tongues," slowly at first, and then in a cascade of words the Bible calls the language of angels.

I was filled with a tremendous sense of joy. Amazing joy. I laughed for three days. It looked as if the whole world had been washed and everything looked so fresh and clean that I felt like I should be giving new names to common things that everyone sees everyday.

Pure spiritual experience and the complicated experience of living in this world usually don't mix too easily. But out of their creative, organic dance a new life emerges, something completely different from what was before. Not totally spiritual, but not totally material either. Life becomes something touched---still fully natural, but singed by a sacred dimension that now finds its most natural expression in the act of love.

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