It wasn’t after a long night running with wild, crazy horses – or binging on cocaine and lemon drops. That’s not where He met me.
He met me as a little girl. Pegged against a closet door in the bedroom of a tiny dismal house on Deleware Lane. I was shaking from the rape of my father. My body could not be stilled. The problem was, I had to find some way to calm down or I could not return to the family.
It was there that Jesus met me.
It wasn’t an apparition or ghost-like image at all. In fact, I’m not sure I saw Him. I just knew he was with me. I felt His presence. I knew He wasn’t from earth but he wasn’t scary. Beyond that, I didn’t really know what it was I was experiencing.
I can tell you I felt relief in that moment. A profound comfort washed over me.
Before His presence came, I was thinking there was no way I was going to stop crying, not this time. The suffering I felt in my physical body was a pain that didn’t seem to have an end. I remember that moment viscerally, as if I can feel it today.
So, what about those drug filled nights? Why did I need alcohol to calm to me down for much of this journey? Why?
That’s easy: God cannot remove the experience. Once abuse happens, it’s in the history books forever. It’s not like this great big wand comes down from heaven and alleviates all suffering.
That is just not the truth.
Little by little, I’ve learned who He is. Do you think I trusted Him just because I felt His presence? Heck, no! He had to build that trust in me, just like we build just with each other.
After I’d grown up, my mother told me that she and dad had no idea how I’d heard of God. We didn’t go to church and I wasn’t around “church” people. I told her, “He came to me.”
When I was eight, my parents picked up some kind of religion and starting going to church. They took us kids with them. Through every sermon and all the Sunday school lessons, I never heard one word about the presence I felt in that bedroom five years early. They seemed to worship a different God than the one I know.
That is – until a traveling evangelist came and visited that gross little place. His name was Gene Lewin (spelling I’m not sure of, the man I am most sure of). As he began to speak, my little soul lit up like a firecracker. When Gene used the name of Jesus, I remember thinking, “Oh, that’s His name!” I picked up a pen and paper next to me on the pew and quickly jotted down the experience I’d had with Jesus. Later, I learned that little piece of paper was published in a Christian magazine.
You see, I had met Jesus, or better said, He met me – right where I needed to be found.