I've been reading God Stories: Inspiring Encounters with the Divine, edited by journalist Jennifer Skiff, with interest and awe. Briefly, this book is a compilation of stories told by everyday people about their unexpected encounters with God. Each story is a nugget of personal experience, ranging from prayers answered immediately to meetings with angels to God-spoken warnings or reassurances, and beyond--the telling of a moment in which the Divine intervened and changed a life forever.
Reading each story has affected me in some way. Some have made me smile, others have made me nod, and still others have brought tears to my eyes. As a collection, the stories have been humbling and have assured me that God does indeed meet each person where he or she is walking and communicates in the way he or she will best receive and respond, illustrating simply that when we knock, he opens the door; when we seek him, we find him; and when we ask, we receive. What has also struck me about these stories is the childlike awe, wonder, and devotion that these encounters have left people with.
Reading this book also has reminded me that I have many of my own "God stories." At one time I remembered them and told them, but somewhere along the way, I either forgot them or forgot to tell them, and now I can remember only a few of those experiences that left me with no doubt that God had reached down and touched me. If I had written these moments down, so that I could read them during a time when I felt worn and ragged, would they have mended my heart and reenergized my faith, reconnected me to my Creator? I think they would have made a difference.
As I spend the next few days considering the new year, I'm going to think about this.