There were those times I sat down and began to muse over my life and its meaning; from time to time, God would come up in the equation. Where exactly did He fit in? While wandering in the darkness and living a lackluster existence, one day I crossed the path of a red-headed angel. Patsy Lewis was as Irish as they come and she had fixed her eyes on me. Why? What did she see in me? Had God told her something about me? In the guise of a life coach, she was one of those people who seemed to look deep into my soul without being given permission. I kinda’ understood how Adam and Eve felt after they had fallen from grace. All of a sudden they felt naked before God. I felt my sin and past were exposed to Patsy. But what she really saw was a hungry girl. So she offered me a meal. Literally.
Part 2 “All I heard was “BREAKFAST!”
One day Patsy came to me and asked if I would like to join her at a Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, December 12, 1981. I had no clue as to what that would be like. Having selective hearing, I heard the word Breakfast and lit up! I was a breakfast person… even to this day. Of course, I would go. I couldn’t wait. A breakfast buffet suited me fine.
December 12, 1981 was a cold winter Saturday morning. The event was held at the Ramada Inn in downtown Macon, GA. I was not Patsy’s only guest. She had invited 2-3 other young ladies. That was cool with me. I was set to eat and go to the far end of the room and conk out. (sleep) But here’s the reality.
Upon arrival, we were greeted at the door of the Conference room with smiles and the likes of which I had not experienced with a group of strangers before. I put my best foot forward and smiled back, yet in the back of my mind I was suspicious. “Why are they being so nice to me? What are they hoping to get from me? I ain’t got no money, so hey, nothing here to see.” (slang intended)
The people were walking, meeting, and greeting one another; err’body smilin’ and stuff. My mind is going… “What’s wrong with these people?” I wanted to get to what we went there for… the buffet! The process was slow.
Meanwhile, a young lady came over to me while I browsed a table filled with books, pamphlets, and little religious trinkets (I’ve always been a lover of books). She said “if you see something you like let me know. I’ll get it for ya’.” Whaaaa? Why? Hmmmm.
Well, for some reason my eyes locked on a little cross and dove pin. Coming out of religion I knew what the cross stood for but I wasn’t quite sure about the bird. Oh, but I would. I knew I wanted it and looking at the price of it, the lady wasn’t going to break the bank to get it for me. Once I got it, I quickly put it on my blouse then headed toward the food table heeding the call for everyone to pray and get their breakfast on! Woohoo! My favorites were there. Grits, Eggs, Toast with jelly and Bacon!
Making my way to a table with the group I came with, we began to eat and listen to music about Jesus. Hmmm. This woman was singing as though she knew Him personally. I ate and listened to her words. What struck me was when she sang, “Jesus has all the pieces to my life. In a vision like a daydream I saw Jesus; and in His hands were all the pieces to my life.” At that moment I saw, yet not with my natural eyes, a figure of a person from the chest down in a robe with hands extended to me. Now, I understand this is too much mysticism for many. But I couldn’t duplicate this experience if I tried. I always find it difficult to explain. People look at me as if I have 2 heads. Yet, I do share it.
I felt my self going ‘deep’ trying to figure all of this out. I remember inside my deepest self I said these words, “Whatever they got, I want it.” I’ve heard of Jesus all my young life, but not like this. Is this the Presence I sense in this room? People from every walk of life loving one another, and even me, a stranger? Is this the same Jesus?
Finishing breakfast, everyone headed over to the seats in front of a podium. Remember I was going to the back of the room to relax after I ate, but that didn’t happen. Patsy wanted her group to sit with her… in the front! I was too proud to fall asleep in the front of the room; besides, my curiosity was tapped now. I wanted to hear more.
The host introduced the speaker, a woman by the name of Benji Clark, founder of “Lift Jesus Higher Ministries” and the author of a book called CHOSEN. She was the most beautiful angel of a lady! Hair was white as snow!! She had humor too! I could still hear her high pitched voice mimic Jacob telling his wrestling opponent, “I ain’t letting you go til you blessed me!” Here is a short video of the text of scripture Benji spoke from: Genesis 32:22-32… just as a refresher for some.
After highlights of this biblical event, things took on a more serious note. In fact it became downright sinister. Benji began to give her UNBELIEVABLE testimony. Beginning with her childhood. I was hearing what she was saying but was having a difficult time believing she went through all the things she mentioned. While I can’t remember word for word I caught on that at the age of 9 her father took her as his wife.
Having read part 1 of my story, you can imagine that I was very affected by this. Probably visibly shaken, every part of me to include my mind, was rejecting it. This woman was the epitome of a perfect wholesome lady. Aside from the horrific story, she had the appearance of a well rounded woman. She was joyful, funny, bubbly, glowing and seemed to be of the finest quality of character.
What jolted me even more was the similarities to my story. The God that I imagined had not cared or seen me in those years of horror, (or even existed) had chosen to orchestrate this day to connect me to someone who understood and could feel my pain.
By the end of the event, I was certain I wanted to connect with this God. You see, Benji began to speak of the arrival of Jesus in her life. Just like the woman who sung during breakfast, she spoke of Him as though she knew Him personally. Is it possible?
Benji offered to those in the room who had not accepted God’s Gift, to come forward. I didn’t feel I had to. I said the prayer in my heart right there on the front row; pretty much what I said in my heart earlier. “Whatever they got, I want it.” Only this time I knew it was Jesus.
I briefly met the speaker before leaving with Patsy and the others. Somehow, I felt Patsy knew a change had come about in me that day. On the way home I said nothing. I have always been a social butterfly around others. But this ride was different.
My mind was still trying to digest the events of the morning. This time there was something taking place in the quiet that didn’t make sense. How is it that I have been alive for more than 20 years, yet it seems I am seeing the world for the first time? And its PURE, clean, snowy white! I was seeing the world thru a different lens; and it was NEW! Later, sharing this with Patsy, I understood this to be a spiritual born again event that Jesus spoke of to Nicodemus. Yea, yea, yea… I know people dissect this to mean a lot of things. They may even say it ain’t biblical. Okay, I get that. It just does not supersede John 3:1-8.
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
That which was hidden from me because of sin and separation from God, was now being revealed because my faith has accepted His Gift. Now, I “can see the kingdom of God.” What seemed like fiction before is made real.
There’s a part 3, my friends. I would have the distinct privilege to meet Benji Clark Mallory a couple more times, but not before a series of events take place with me. For one, I felt compelled to go out immediately to the highways and byways to preach God’s Good News. JESUS SAVES! You see, I already had the Word of God in my heart since 3 years old.
I looked at that big black Bible my auntie gave me a couple of years before I accepted Christ and said,
“Whatever happened to me is in here.”
More to Come! Click Picture image for Part 3 Called to Bear Fruit – My Story