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~=Ron=~

Why Are You Here?

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When I lived in New York City back in the early 90s, I occasionally taught at our
church summer camp in upstate New York, ( we fondly called it Camp Sunrise) .  
In our more advanced seminars, towards the end the course, we would arrange
an early morning outing to a local hilltop to meet and pray with our guests at
sunrise.  That meant getting everyone up early out of their sleeping bags
@ 3:30am and making the trip to the top of the hill via a trail and with flashlights. 
Andy took the lead, and I would be the last in line to attend to any stragglers.
 
When we got to the top of the hill someone offered a representative prayer and 
then we broke up and found our own private places to pray, by a rock, beside a 
tree, each soul moved across the hillside to their own spot as the sun began to
rise. It was very beautiful. And we all began to pray.  


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I've had meaningful prayers before, and I sometimes had, and always hoped for
what in the Seminary, Reverend Sudo called, "A Skin Touch Encounter" with God.   
But on this occasion, while I was thinking and hoping along those lines, it somehow
felt during my prayer, that I was just spouting empty words into the air.  And at one
point I began to feel frustrated.  As I mentioned, I've had meaningful encounters in
prayer before, in my mission work, in the trenches,  I often had to find an empty 
field or under a bridge to find privacy and solitude for serious prayer and repentance 
to find the heart of God, and solace.  I often needed and relied on those experiences 
to continue some difficult mission work, through difficult times. But for some reason
this time it just wasn't happening.   I felt like a turtle on it's back, going nowhere.. 

Then, unmistakably, a powerful question just came into my heart and mind,
through my gut.  I still feel to this day that it was the voice of God. 

"Why are you here?"   

"For them",  I answered, as I looked out and saw all our new friends and guests
scattered across the hillside.  It was for them that we were even here, in camp
and on a beautiful hillside, and away from the dirty Manhattan streets.  It was then
that I knew what I had to do.  I repented for my selfishness, and began to ask God 
to intercede and visit *THEM* instead of me, "Please God, visit them,"  those who
may be uttering their first words of prayer ever in their lives. 

"Please God, visit them". 

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Calling out each person to God by name,  "Please God, visit Carol, make this
time special for her."  For each one by name.   

It was then, through this process, that the bottom of my heart gave way, and
I felt God move in.  I felt the embrace and love of God.  I was no longer that
turtle stuck on it's back, I looked out over the hillside, the sunrise, and my
friends,, and felt a visitation of Heaven's love, for them, for me, and for all in
this vast beautiful creation.   

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~=Ron=~

 

 

 

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