My wife and I in the company of my mother and my sister Maureen had been up to the top of the Mountain known as Mount Krizevac [Cross Mountain] on a Thursday afternoon during a week in May 1990, in Medjugorje which is in Bosnia and was part of the former Yugoslavia. The assent up the hill is rugged and steep but culminates at the top with a giant concrete cross that was erected during 1933 by the local Croatian population. The path up the hill features the Stations of the Cross. We made our way up the hill slowly pausing at each station to pray.
We had come to Medjugorje to find out for ourselves why so many pilgrims from all over the world had visited this small village in Bosnia and we were rapidly finding out why. The little village was an oasis of peace and the prayer we encountered was rich and deep in its character and things were happening which could not be explained naturally.
As we made our way down Krizevac on that Thursday afternoon one of the lady pilgrims in our group fell and broke her ankle. The group assisted her down to the complex at which we were staying to get medical help. As we settled her into her room, one of the nuns accompanying our group approached me and asked me whether I had seen the “sign of the sun”? I knew of the sign of the sun as many other pilgrims had experienced it. I replied that I had not and she invited me to look directly into the sun. I was immediately treated to what can only be described an an astonishing display of solar phenomena. The disc which was the sun began to spin off colorful images of itself in rapid succession in every color of the rainbow. I could look directly into the sun without damaging my eyes. The word “peace” in English appeared in the sky and there were many other solar affects that occurred. As soon as I began to experience these events I yelled out to those of our group that were close by and they all joined in the experience which lasted about 20 minutes.
The point of this story is to provide you with evidence that God does use extraordinary means to connect with us from time to time and if we have connected with our Creator we need to build an inventory of events that have occurred in our own lives to share with others who have yet to step out in faith. We all have our stories and they can help to persuade our friends and acquaintances to take a serious look at “faith”.
One of the most remarkable stories is that recounted by the Apostle Paul in the Acts of the Apostles [Acts 9: 1-19]. I will leave you to read that scripture if you have not read it before and if you have I invite you to re-visit it. It’s a classic example of a conversion story. As Paul said later about himself: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost—— I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him” [1 Timothy 1: 15-17]. Paul had gone from persecuting the infant Christian community to being one of its primary advocates.
As we step out in faith, our God provides us with all sorts of confirming events that reinforce our decision to believe. If you are already more than just a cultural Christian you will have discovered this for yourself.
We do need however from time to time to re-focus and remind ourselves that our family, our friends, our acquaintances and those others with whom we come in contact have a right to get to know their Creator and we have the obligation to introduce them and encourage them. That’s one of our primary obligations as Christians. We can accomplish this in many ways but we need to remind ourselves of our “stories” and not be too shy to share them.