This is the first part of the story of how Jesus love captivated my heart, it’s about how I first met Him and began to fall in love…
I grew up going to church, a big cold grey stone building, there was a general warmth of community and some aspiration of connection with God but I felt the connection pretty distant. There was a God, who made the earth, then had left us to it and expected us to nice and kind, and then figers crossed when we died, we would go to heaven.
This story didn’t capture my heart, and so I as a teenager I looked elsewhere for a full life, and a more personal connection. I found girls and underage drinking with a big of drug use, to be a reasonable subsitute. If I could be the guy kissing the prettiest girl in the room, that moment gave me a viseral vindication and affirmation strong enough to dull my deeper yearings.
However, during this peroid I still normally went to church, there were a couple of pretty girls there and it was a habit I was quite used to… but then the strangest thing started to happen. In those carved wooden pews I began to feel a sense of love. Of God loving me.
It’s hard to articulate but somehow a transcendent, invisible force was reaching out to me, beaconing me close. The feeling was wonderful, peaceful, gracious and delightful and addictive. I didn’t want to be as hung over on a Sunday morning, so I began to drink less on a Saturday night, then I stopped going out. Then I started to go to other places where other people with this same love were. It turned out this love had a name and a person it was Jesus.
Around this time a movement called 24/7 prayer started and I heard the vision (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp0cdTXv5Js)
The group of fellow Jesus lovers decieded we should try a prayer night, which we did, a full night of prayer. Which was a new concept to me but it was amazing. I was discovering new depths to this connection to Jesus way beyond what I had experienced before.