I was out for a walk…As I walked, I passed by many houses; some had very beautiful Christmas lights, adorned with colourful windows that revealed families watching Christmas shows together…Some houses, I could smell the wood burning in their fire places and I imaged how warm and cozy their house must be, some houses were partaking in the holiday season and I could hear the sounds of joy escaping from behind the bricked-in walls!! It was a nice to witness the pleasantries wrapped up inside the rooms of some family’s homes. Then I came to another home…there were no Christmas lights, nor sweet scent of a fire burning or sounds of joy, only shouts of a couple arguing and children crying in the back ground. My heart sank and tear fell from my eye, I stopped for a moment in front of their house to say a prayer for them….It is sad to know that in a season of such joy that some still do experience great turmoil… I continued my journey enjoying the fresh crisp fall air and listening to the rustling of the leaves beneath my feet. Then I came upon a church to which I decided I was going to sit down to take a rest for a few minutes…and ponder the things that I had encountered on my walk. It was dark and quite, I could hear the sound of the wind stirring around me and the movement of the branches on the trees…I looked up in to the night sky to see the brightly lit stars dancing, their essence seemed eternal.
It was then that God took be back to a moment in my life, it was like I was transported and I had crossed all space and time to re- encounter the event as it had unfolded the very first time…It was around this same time of year and I was about 11 years old…It was a cold night, I had on a little blue ski-jacket that was handed down to me…I had no gloves, no scarf and the only hat I had was the one that unzipped from inside the lining of the neck of the nylon jacket. I was in a church yard, similar to where I had stopped for my rest now. It was St. Nichols Church, which was a place of sanctuary that I often went to as a child…I had slept in that church yard many times before …but this night was different. I went over to the grass area, along the fence and I made a bed out of the fallen leaves. I tied up my nylon hood as tightly as I could and put my hands in my pocket to keep them warm…I lied down on the bed of leaves somewhat distraught and crying; I was asking God for His help!! I liked this church because it had a brightly lit cross on the top of it and it made me feel safe and warm…like I was never alone. The wind was howling on this dark night, the leaves were blowing all over and I was finally all cried out…so I drifted off into a deep sleep!! I am not sure how long I was asleep for but I began to feel a great warmth on my face, it was like the morning sun rising and shining down just on me…I was stirring into an awakened state and I remember thinking…it’s going to be a beautiful sunny day and I had a great sense of elation, But to my surprise, as I opened my eyes I found that it was still night time. I looked around wondering about where the light had come from…I thought maybe it was a cop car that pulled into the church yard and perhaps I should run and hide before they find me, but there were no cars in sight. My eyes were then drawn to the roof top of the church where the cross was positioned…It was glowing extra brightly and I was fascinated by its glow…then it just kept getting brighter and brighter. It was not the first time I had encountered the brightness from this light…for I had seen it once before. However this time the light grew and encompassed the night sky and then out of that light came a man…I could not really see his face, only the brilliance of it, but I knew that it was Jesus. He was in the light and for the first time I could feel what it felt like to be loved…purely and unconditionally!! He reached His hand out toward me and I could see the scar in the center of it. He then spoke into my heart not with words from His mouth but from His Spirit and said “Come to the Cross and I will save you” I reached out and took His hand and I felt the warmth of heaven all around me and go through me…I felt like I was finally at home, a place where I belonged…then He let go of my hand and vanished!! I looked all around me but could not see Him, and I looked back up to the cross but it had returned to its usual radiance. It was still very cold outside, but now I felt this incredible warmth in my heart and I knew that I was changed. I could not explain it; I only knew I was different. You see I did not grow up in church and I had no idea about the concept of salvation and that I was now saved!! I only knew that I just had the most incredible experience in my 11 years of life and I wanted more. For months after that I tried many times to climb up to that roof top to get to that cross again, but was unsuccessful. In my lack of knowledge I thought that if I reached the cross I could encounter Jesus again, not realizing that He now lived in me because I said yes and took His outstretched hand when He called me to the cross!! I wouldn’t come to understand that until many years into my adult life. However, from that day forward I knew that I would never again be alone and that one day I would return to my home in heaven!!
Although this wasn’t my first divine encounter with the heavenly realm, it was my first encounter with Christ, However, it certainly would not be my last…but I will save those testimonies for another time.
I am thankful that Christ is my heart and my life, His Spirit has comforted me through many valleys in my life and has imparted into me many great revelations and gifts. He is the friend who sticks closer than any other…. He is my foundation and my source…and I am thankful for the radiant cross from so many years ago…I hope that one day that St. Nicholas Church will light that cross again, so that others may see the light in the darkness.
My prayer for this season is that no one is without love and peace in their hearts and in their homes; that you assist those who are unable to provide for their own families and befriend those who are alone…..That you help bring the Spirit of Joy into dark places to turn someone’s night into a beautiful new day. May the Grace of God Be Upon all of Your Homes this Christmas Season and May God Bestow His Abundant Blessings upon Your Entire Family… May you remain in Good Health and Cheer for all the days of your Life… In Jesus Name, Amen!!
May God Bless You and Keep You in All Things Pertaining to Life and Godliness ~Sincerely Pastor Cindy
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