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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Calvin shares his experience

It must have been around 1975...I was about 14 years of age and having a LOT of problems.
I got a job during the summer at the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) doing telephone solicitations.

While there I met an ex-Black Panther by the name of Chris (I can t remember his last name).
Chris is my spiritual father. Though disabled and confined to a wheel chair, high intelligence and a noble spirit distinguished him. He taught me things...gave me back my faith.
He finally convinced me to visit his church (Shekinah Fellowship in Long Beach, CA) for a healing service one Saturday evening.

It was July.

The "church" was a converted movie house (Fox West Coast Theatre on Ocean Boulevard)–the old-fashioned kind that could seat above two thousand. The stage was raised with ramps on either side. And the place was packed with people.
Now I come from a very Fundamentalist background...I had never visited a church like this before: there was singing and worship. People raised their hands as in adoration of an Unseen Lover.

The pastor's name was Brant Baker (I remember his name!). Brant wasn't really a preacher...he was more of a healer as you might say (1st Corinthians 12:9). And he would lead the congregation into a spirit of worship in preparation for his ministry.

When the time came two lines formed at either end of the stage. Brant would fill up the stage with a single line made from the convergence of the two lines and then move from person to person, placing a dab of olive oil on each forehead and praying. At least half of the people prayed for would "faint." Someone would catch them from behind and gently lower them to the floor.
This was all VERY new to me.

Chris then told me to join one of the lines for prayer.
I had no intention of fainting in a theatre full of people: I politely said NO.
But Chris was persistent (the fact was...I TRUSTED Chris).
I finally consented–but promised myself that I was not going to "faint."
And I wasn't going to let anyone PUSH me down either!
In fact, I was pretty much determined not to be cooperative at all!

Anyway, the line I was in was moving, and I was getting closer and closer to the stage.
Finally I took my place on stage (stage left). Brant was on the opposite side working his way toward me. People were fainting, and I was getting more anxious. When Brant got to the person next to me I closed my eyes and told God that I was open to whatever He had for me.
Brant was now in front of me; I could feel his finger place the oil on my forehead, and could hear him whisper the word "Glory!"

And the whole universe disappeared. LITERALLY.
Friend, there IS a place called NOWHERE–and for what was probably less than a split second I was there. A voice (more accurately, a thought) spoke to me saying, "It's all over, you can rest now."

Every cell in my body relaxed in Perfect Peace. Every fear was vanquished. And that's why my body collapsed like a rag doll to the floor on that stage in front of all those people.
When I opened my eyes I was MAD...angry that I was thrown back into this life that took so much delight in exposing my ignorance, weakness and faults.

And on and off (mostly on) I've been seeking that state of Perfection ever since (the links on my web site bear this out).

I've never really understood the meaning of the experience...was it a memory, or a prophecy?

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