I can recall several experiences which have been deeply spiritual for me. One of these came when I was a young man camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I remember one night sitting by my camp fire on that mountaintop where I had spent the weekend seeking to be drawn closer to God. Lightning flashed across the sky behind the mountains, and suddenly I was overwhelmed with a sense of the presence of Another.

I remembered my feelings of ecstasy and a sense of Presence as I stood beside the crib and looked down at my firstborn child, and then later at my second child, and when I stood beside my wife’s bed as she returned safely from surgery, and when I stood in church several years ago and pronounced the vows for my daughter and her husband to take as they began their lives together, and then later celebrated the birth of my grandchildren. I had those same feelings when I pronounced the vows for my son and his wife to be in North Carolina with Grandfather Mountain in the background, and two years later rejoiced at the birth of their daughter. I can remember special religious moments when I was in the mountains, walking beside the sea, during quiet, private meditation, or during a service of worship and I was stirred by the preacher or choir. A feeling of ecstasy can come upon us when we least expect it. As we open ourselves to God, we are fed by God’s spirit. I can attest to the reality of such experiences which come as they will, often unannounced, as God’s spirit moves in its inconspicuous and often unexpected ways.

by Bill Tuck