A spiritual journey

A former Methodist lay minister tells the story of her "divine calling" and where it eventually led her.

I Wasn't Raised in a Christian home. My parents did not go to church. However, as a child I did attend different Sunday Schools with other neighborhood girls. Then, when I was about 13, my beloved grandmother died. I was absolutely shocked—my whole world was changed, never to be the same. Could the God I had been learning about allow someone so loved, and who so loved me, simply to be no more? These questions, and others about the meaning of life, preoccupied me at a profound level. But, I had no one with whom I could talk about them.

At 16, I was attending a Baptist church. Two important things happened there. The first was that I wanted to express my deep love for Jesus openly, and so I underwent baptism by total immersion in a large pool, or baptistery. While in the water waiting for the minister to immerse me, I told God that I needed to feel His presence with me, because I knew I could never sustain the Christian life without His help and guidance. As I came out of the baptistery, I was filled with an unspeakable joy. I later understood this profound feeling of my unity with God to be spiritual baptism.

The second thing that affected me deeply were words of Jesus, found in Mark 16:17–18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils ... they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." This Scripture struck me as being the whole purpose of being a Christian. "But," I asked myself, "why don't I see the sick being healed? Why are people not expecting the sick to be healed?" Here again, the question was left in my heart. There seemed to be no one whom I could ask.

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Peacebuilding in Bosnia
September 23, 2002

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