Tuesday, December 13, 2005

God's Presence-1

The first time I felt God's presence I was, quite by accident, in a church.

At the time, I was a rock-ribbed atheist, and had not been in a church in years. Some college friends had invited me to a major league baseball game, and we were gathering near a church parking lot near campus to make the trek to the ballpark. I arrived early, and, out of curiosity, I walked into the church. There I sat, alone, staring at the simple cross at the front of the sanctuary.

The sanctuary was dead quiet, so quiet I could almost hear the silence. As I sat in the midst of this silence, I was reminded of Bible studies I had attended years earlier, before Ayn Rand had shoved me into the cold and deep end of the pool. I thought of my friends from that era, some of whom I was meeting to go to the baseball game. Very clever of them, I thought. They had us meet at a church parking lot on purpose. I looked out through a window at the church parking lot and noticed that some of the others were arriving.

Somewhere in the middle of these thoughts, I began to feel a "pull" at my mind, and my eyes returned to the cross. This feeling was very distinct, and akin to the the feeling one has when a forgotten name is on the tip of one's tongue. I could have resisted this pull if I had wanted to, but I didn't want to.

Just then one of my pals barged through the church door and broke the silence. "Come on, let's get going or we'll be late." My mind snapped back to reality. I lightly chuckled to myself with a "wasn't that something" look on my face, no doubt.

I was relieved, and made a mental note to avoid churches in the near future.