Experiencing The Presence Of God

(Aberdeen, Scotland.)

Dear Tanya,

Here are three occasions when I experienced the very close presence of God (and Jesus.)

The experiences proved to me how very great is God's love, how close He is to the problems in my life and how He cared enough to draw near to me at these times and make me aware of His compassion and understanding. Such experiences have helped to strengthen my faith. I know now that I will never bear any trouble alone and that God is always there to share it with me.

Experiencing the Presence of God.

There has been quite a lot of discussion recently about Spiritualism not being a religion, and let's keep God out of it and concentrate on advisers from the higher life.

I have believed in God all my life. In fact I could not have lived my life without the knowledge of His constant presence. Here are three occasions in my life when I have been very aware of the presence of God.

In my early twenties, I discovered a "lump in my breast" and I thought there was only one thing it could be. I did nothing and lived with the worry for quite a few weeks before I decided to visit my GP.

On the day I was to visit the doctor I was at work. It was my lunch hour, I had just recovered from a nasty bilious attack, I was worn out with anxiety and I felt wretched.I was alone in this small miserable room we called the staff room. I put my head down on my arms and suddenly I was aware of a presence in the room. I felt surrounded by a feeling of enormous sympathy and compassion. Then I heard a voice saying "Poor little girl, poor little girl."

I remember thinking I am not a little girl anymore. The presence gradually faded, but I was left with a lovely feeling of upliftment and the thought that someone cared. I went to the GP who arranged a hospital visit, I had a small operation and thankfully the "lump" turned out to be a benign cyst. Strangely the surgeon who attended to me referred to me as "the little girl." I am small of stature and I have always looked younger than my age.

The second occasion when I was aware of the presence of God was about 15 years later. I was living in England at the time and I was desperately homesick for Scotland. I missed Scottish accents, Scottish expressions, Scottish names and all things Scottish. Circumstances were forcing me to go on living in England and I prayed and prayed to God to open the way to get me back to my homeland.

One night after praying I just gave up and said, "Ok God-if you want me to go on living here for the rest of my life I will. I can't fight you any longer."

Then it happened! My bedroom was bathed in a golden light which surrounded me. I felt a presence in the room and I was enveloped in the most wonderful love I have ever experienced. I knew in that instance that everything was going to be alright. Such was the experience that I was on a "high" for the next few days. Then the miracle happened and the way was opened for me to return to Scotland.

Years ago I read a book by Catherine Marshall, the widow of the minister Peter Marshall, and she talked about "the prayer tht makes dreams come true." This is when you surrender your prayer to God and say, "Not my will but thine be done." However, it is a hard prayer to say as you hope so desperately that your own prayer will be answered.

The third occasion was about 30 years later when I was attending a meditation class in my local Spiritualist church. The leader always took us on a journey to a beautiful place and then left us there, "Until you hear my voice again."

On this particular occasion I found myself sitting on a grassy hillside. The hillside had white blobs on it which I realised were sheep.I was sitting there looking at this lovely peaceful scene when I was suddenly aware of someone standing beside me. My eyes were looking down the hillside and I started to raise them and I was aware of a shepherd's crook next to me.

Now I have never really known what a shepherd's crook looks like, but somehow I knew this was one. I continued to raise my eyes and I saw a figure dressed in a cassock. I saw the wide sleeves and the hood surrounding the face and I looked up into the most wonderful compassionate eyes I have ever seen. I gazed in wonder at this figure which I just knew was Jesus and then He spoke to me! He said, "Feed my sheep."

I presumed this to be a reference to a book I had written about my religious beliefs which was not selling well. I was spellbound by what I was experiencing, and then I heard my group leader's voice saying, "and now you must leave this place of peace" and I was talked back into the meditation circle.

I have never forgotten this wonderful experience nor indeed the other two times when I honestly believe I experienced the presence of God.

So, don't anyone ever tell me there is no God! My God knows everything about me. I have experienced first hand His compassion and sympathy, His overwhelming love and understanding, and I look forward to the day when I can once again look into the face of Jesus and see those beautiful loving eyes.

Fellow Spiritualists -remember our First Principle "The Fatherhood of God" and don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

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