When I first heard God…

That was the topic of last week’s lesson and when I wrote letters to God, both this week and six months ago, I could not remember. But tonight, I was reminded of how God was active in my life much earlier than I had been thinking.

When I was 13, I read the sermon on the mount one morning before school. At the time I was impressed by Jesus’ teaching to “turn the other cheek.” I got to school, went through my day, no problem. Then I got to gym and God had known what was coming.

There was an argument over a mat and Cookie, God bless her wherever she is, hit me. I actually stood there and thought, “Did she hit me on the right cheek? If she didn’t, I can hit her back.” But she had hit me on the right cheek. She asked me if I was going to hit her and I said no “he told me not to.” He who she asked? I pointed to heaven. She looked up in the rafters of the gym. Then she asked me if there were somebody up there. I told her no, God had told me not to hit her. “God told you not to hit Cookie?” she asked. Yes, I told her. When? This morning when I was reading the Bible. It said in the Bible not to hit Cookie? she asked. Yeah, I said. Sort of.

That wasn’t me. That was God witnessing himself to Cookie. I’m expecting that she’ll be in heaven and we can sit down and talk about the day God was in the rafters. I’m looking forward to it.

Then, when I was in high school, our preacher died. It was sudden, unexpected, and horrifying. He was 33 and had three young children. Our church decided to continue to pay his widow the salary for a year and allow her to continue to live in the home that had been supplied by the church. During that year, regular members of the congregation led singing, preached, and prepared the communion thoughts. And during that year, every week, the Holy Spirit led them to dovetail perfectly together. If we sang “Angry Words,” then the sermon was on an unbridled tongue and the communion thoughts were on the importance of Jesus’ words. It was like that every week. And every week one of the elders would get up and remind us that the Holy Spirit had orchestrated that.

He also told the high school class (Laura and I) that we went to church with a prophetess. She had called the elders and had told them that she had a vision and she thought Jim was going to die. But she couldn’t believe it. And since she didn’t really believe it, neither did they. Then he died…. Don’t know what the prophecy was supposed to make different, because it didn’t. But it made me believe in the modern day working of the Holy Spirit.

And those were some of the earliest times when I could personally see God working in my life.