In the spring of 1973, March actually, I was living in a tent in the woods near the tiny town of Appleton, Washington. The commune I had been living in had folded, having run its course.
It became my habit to walk first thing in the morning, a new trail each day. Appleton is located near the base of Mt. Adams, not far from the Columbia River. On the margin between dense forest and highland scrub sage, it is a beautiful area.
On the morning in question there was a mist in the air that, with the sun shining through it, looked like multitudes of tiny diamonds hanging in the air. I chose a game trail I hadn’t walked before and started off.
For a while I walked through dense forest until I came to the edge of about an acre size meadow. It had green grass, wild flowers just beginning to poke their lovely little heads up, a babbling brook ran through the middle of it and Mountain Bluebirds were flitting about.
On top of all that there was a double rainbow due to the mist in the air. As soon as my eyes met this wonderful sight I heard a voice call my name. It was as though it was right next to me and yet at a great distance at the same time. I dropped to my knees and drank in the moment for what seemed a long time.
Eventually I made my way back to my camp and then went to visit a friend in Appleton. While I was telling his wife and him about my experience, I noticed a book on his coffee table called “Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey.
Intrigued, I picked it up and read the foreword. I asked if I could borrow the book. He graciously agreed and I took it back with me to another friend’s house where I was house-sitting. I didn’t put it down till the next morning, around 3 in the morning when I finished it.
In that book, the author tells about the prophesies in the Bible pertaining to the end-times and how they are coming to pass. He also explains the salvation message of Jesus Christ. That’s not to say I had never read the Bible. I started learning to read when I was three years old. My mother taught me my ABCs when she read me bedtime stories. I have been a voracious reader ever since, even staying up at night with a flashlight under the covers, to my parent’s chagrin.
Nevertheless, reading the Bible and having a spiritual understanding of it are different things entirely. I realized, to my own satisfaction at least, that I had met the author of the Bible that glorious morning. He has led me ever since and my whole life before, though at that time I didn’t yet know it.
As the old song says, “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. His grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”