In 1989 while living in Rockville, Maryland, I signed up with my Baptist church to participate in a weekend Women’s Retreat. The three-day meeting was held at a beautiful conference center located in the hills of Massanetta Springs, Maryland, which is located about 136 miles from my home. More than 45 women arrived at the church’s parking lot and loaded into church buses and cars on a late Friday evening and made the trip in about two hours.
Upon arrival, we were met by an obliging and well-organized staff of conference employees who directed us to our cabins and later served us a fantastic late dinner. We did not retire early, but later that evening held our first spiritual meeting in the Mary Lou McMillin Resource Center. (See the map.) Personally, I was in ewe about the natural beauty and serenity of the landscape and rolling hills. Such peace and repose the quietude afforded all of us in attendance.
It wasn’t long before some of the sisters began whispering about strange phenomenon things happening that afforded them a since of wonderment if an invisible presence was indeed also at the camp to hold their own retreat. For example, while two women were sitting on the front porch in rocking chairs, an empty chair nearby began to rock slowly (presumably propelled by the wind). At the welcoming meeting held later that evening, seemingly, our voices were more melodious and our pianist attacked the keys with far fewer missed notes. As testimonies were lifted up to our Lord by the attendees, the whole atmosphere became fortified with an angelic presence that far surpassed any church service that I had ever attended in the past.
But, later that night I had an astonishing dream…
I was assigned to share sleeping quarters with one of the senior mothers of our church whom I loved dearly and who had taken me under her wing as her spiritual daughter. As she sat on her bed and prepared for slumber, she struggled with rolling up her hair on sponge rollers. So, I went over to her and began to take over her task. Her long silver strands of hair twisted easily around each roller I applied. Afterwards, we said our prayers and fell fast asleep. Later in the night I was “awakened” by my roommate walking around the room. I turned over and asked her if she was alright and if she needed anything. She assured me she was fine, but that she just couldn’t sleep in a strange place. She sat down on her bed and as I observed the back of her head I noticed that her long silver strands of hair seemed so much longer and brighter. I arose and went over and stroked her hair and tucked her back into her bed. We both resumed out sleep and the next morning I asked her how well did she sleep since she was up during the night.
To my surprise, my friend assured me that she slept wonderfully and solidly ALL NIGHT! I corrected her and related what I had witnessed the night before with her walking around and how I had came over to her bed and STROKED……at that point I abruptly stopped talking, my eyes got wider and wider as I observed the hair rollers still in her hair. Mother, I exclaimed, did you reset your hair in the night? No, she replied, I told you I slept soundly all night. I guess you saw my angel watching over me because she knows I don’t like sleeping in anybody else’s bed.
WELL, THAT WAS THE END OF THAT CONVERSATION….BUT NOT MY INQUISITIVENESS INTO MY INNERMOST THOUGHTS!
My second encounter with “Something” around the Cross…
The leader of the retreat had instructed all of us to be outside and up on the hill by 6:00 a.m. for sunrise services at the cross. As we gathered in a circle around the cross we could smell the bacon, biscuits and fried apples being prepared in the mess hall by the conference center’s employees. Our leader yelled at us to keep our hearts and minds on praising God for another beautiful day. I was thinking that same thing just as she bellowed it out. Slowly, each women individually began to render up a prayer of thanksgiving. Again, I thought to myself, why are each women praying singularly, God can hear everybody’s prayer at the same time. Just then the spiritual leader shouted out the same words I was thinking. As we held hands in the circle, an electrical shock ran through us all and caused us to break the circle. Everybody began to pray out loud at the same time and they lifted up holy hands to the Lord.
Suddenly, I was led to approach one of our special prayer warriors and I was instructed by the Holy Spirit to ask her to pray for me. She began by blessing me with the knowledge that if I wanted God to converse with me on a regular basis I would have to ‘eat the Word’ on a regular basis. She prayed other directives over me, but all I remember is that I kept repeating the words out loud, ‘I’ll eat the Word, I’ll eat the Word!’
The Holy Spirit has made it possible for me to eat the Word so I might not sin against the Father. Biblical knowledge has become an integral part of my life and desires. Over these many years, with God’s word, he has helped me to measure all situations and decisions by it. With God’s help, I will continue to ingest his Word until traveling days are over.
So, how has your life evolved? I prayerfully hope it has been connected to the Power on High. There are no energy shortages, or water shortages or pandemic monstrosities up there. Amen!
Spiritual Reference: “He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it.” Revelation 10:9-10
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