Divine Intervention and the Church Potluck

I read my scriptures in the evening because that’s just the way it has worked out for me. I start out in my rocker recliner, eventually putting my feet up, my dog lying close by. The house is quiet and soon I’m deep in thought, the word of God ministering to my mind and spirit as I read my scriptures. Occasionally I start crying and break out in spontaneous prayer, giving thanks to my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.

My first encounter with God happened when I was a young girl. I already knew of His existence, because at one time, we attended a Pentecostal church. Things got lively during services, and our mother couldn’t correct us all, at one time, there were too many of us. After each attendance I would wonder if we were going to survive my mother’s wrath, considering the way we acted, once we reached home. Looking back, I know our actions were a total embarrassment to her and it’s a wonder any of us survived to grow up. Of course it didn’t help that there were other families with many children to engage us.

My first meeting with God was in a backwoods church on a Sunday when the pastor had invited us to attend and eat afterward. He picked us up and drove us home after service and the potluck that followed. If it had been an ordinary day I would have remembered most everything, because that’s just the way I am, detailed. But it wasn’t.

I encountered Him that day when I opened up a children’s story book during services. I remember it wasn’t a thick book but thinner and a bit larger than a golden book, but with a thin, hard, front and back cover. It wasn’t the size of the book that caught my attention though, it was the contents. The angels had large pearl-colored wings and they wore white gowns and there were halos on their heads. I read the book and my heart leapt at the pictures of them, my spirit quickening. I learned that Jesus loved me. That He watched over me.

The service ended and church cleared out but I hardly noticed, sitting there completely absorbed in my encounter with the Lord who made the universe.

I don’t think my feet touched the ground once after I opened that book and I don’t remember eating from the table loaded with good food and desserts or running and playing like I would normally do.

What I remember is a connection was made with my Lord and Savior, and I’m not sure of how it happened. I was a child, but I’m totally convinced that I had found where I belonged. My spirit soared and I found myself at God’s throne.

I went home that day and there was no privacy for me to reflect on what happened, because of all my brothers and sisters. The feeling of walking on a cloud ended when one of my brothers pushed me. It was a quick crash back to earth and then after that life moved forward, as it does for all growing children. Contact had been made with the Lord and I didn’t forget what I experienced that day, pulling it out of my memory from time to time to savor it, until my world moved past that juncture and I no longer thought about it, not for years. I didn’t forget it though, and one day years later, when I was at the end of my rope, in a world that has no mercy for its occupants, God gently called my name and I remembered the sound of His voice.

If anyone were to ask me if church potlucks work, I would have to say they do—I personally know that they do.

I’ve thought about spiritual warfare and pondered that preacher’s obedience to the Lord. He must have had many other things to do that day and yet he came to our house earlier in the week to invite us, and that day to collect us and transport us to
church.

Was it just a pastor doing what pastors do — or was that divine intervention that sent him to our door? If he hadn’t come, I wouldn’t have been at church that day for my appointment with the Lord and Savior of my life. Did God Almighty set this in motion just for me, a little country girl who had nothing to offer but her heart?

What do you think about divine intervention and spiritual warfare? Perhaps it’s happened to you at some time in your life. If it has I’d like to know what happened to you, what your special encounter with God was like. Please leave me a comment, you have my guarantee it’ll be taken seriously. It’s my heart-felt desire that God blesses you richly in your life.

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Visiting Ms. Lil Bone

I remember becoming aware of ‘old folk’, not related by blood or marriage, with our elderly neighbor, Lil Bone. She lived down from us on the left, as you faced the road.

While I’d been to her house with family members on occasion, I’d never visited her alone until early one evening. We’d worn a path between her house and ours, some visiting her but mostly exploring the thickly timbered woods and shrub which made up most of our play environment and the area except for houses and fields carved out from it.

Up above the lower land we and our neighbors lived on, ran a small two lane road. It allowed transportation from one place to another, especially town, and it was where we ran to catch the school bus, which waited patiently as we fought the incline, legs pumping and mouth blowing plumes of frosty air, all the while envisioning being left behind.

I was nine years old and she seemed almost ancient to me. I came from a large family and one early October evening, while my mother was busy with our household, I decided it was time to visit Lil Bone. It was dark out and I shivered as I followed the path which went to her house, stamped into my memory. I was halfway there when I began thinking about my mother’s remark that she’d heard a black panther scream a few nights before. Fear settled into me as I tried to remember all the warnings about the vicious cat. I moved as far from the trees as possible, avoiding overhanging limbs as I hurried forward.

I arrived at her house and pecked on the door, anxious for her to answer. She soon did, telling me “Come in Patricia, it’s too cold for you out there.” I followed her into the kitchen and she asked if I’d like a cookie, a smile on her face. If my eyes matched my desire they must have been the size of saucers. I looked up into her sensitive, patient face and it seemed the wisdom I was searching for resided there as she stared back, handing me that cookie.

She was the first old person to touch my heart and prick the desire for knowledge that lay within me. The wisdom that can only be gleaned by someone who has lived many years tempered with the strength  received from the pain of  giving up those things in life that come only from God. A biological family, youth, then spouse, children. We talked and one thing she impressed on me was the danger of being out in the woods alone at night. My brother came looking for me and when we got home I had plenty of explaining to do, but my mother was lenient with my scolding when I think back on it.

I grew into adulthood being drawn to older people, some so tired and broken in their bodies that they could hardly help themselves. On holidays when I cooked special meals for my family, we waited until the oldest child delivered every plate I made up before starting our own dinner. I didn’t mind this because they had something so much more important to give back. I received accurate guidance and knowledge several times on which way to go when I came to important decisions and crossroads in my life.

I have also found that when I get to know someone, whether in their home or at a convalescent center, there are many precious rewards to be gained from this during future visits. All people have worth and meaning and I’ve discovered for myself God didn’t create any ‘nobodies’. There are opportunities for each and every one of us to enrich our lives by enriching the lives of a person who is waiting to meet us.

If you don’t have a personal ministry in your life consider going to your nearest convalescent center and ask to meet and spend time with someone who doesn’t have a relative or friend to visit.

This is also an excellent place to work on winning a soul for the Lord, someone who you could see again some future day.