Devotional Reading: Acts 9: 1-9
Text: Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heave heaven flashed around him. (v. 3)
The Scots say that there are “thin places” in this world; places where heaven and earth touch. I believe that there are such places. Often they have been sanctified by generations of prayer.
I also believe that there are mystical experiences; times when we are touched by the Eternal in a very special and inexplicable way. I have had two. I seldom share them because they are simply too holy. But Kweisi Mfume, previously known as Frizzell Gerald Gray, wrote of his mystical experience in his autobiography No Free Ride. In the briefest of moments, out of the clear blue, his life was forever changed. His name change symbolized a new beginning, a new life. I shared his story with a group of teens in a residential treatment center. It gave them pause and a new vocabulary.
Today’s reading is about Saul’s mystical experience. Over the years I have learned four things about such experiences. They come when you least expect it. They cannot be wished for or manufactured. They change your life for the better. Finally, they can only be validated within a community of faith.
In following Jesus there is no such thing as a Lone Ranger. God created in plurality. Jesus called individuals into a community. We find ourselves, our true selves, only when we are in communion with others. We cannot go it alone. Nor were we ever meant to.
Lord, guide me to the community in which I can be my true self; the community that will challenge me and help me grow, that will challenge me to use my talents to glorify You. Amen.