My Favorite FALL Memory
By Susan Marlene Kinney
Pens of Praise – November 17, 2014
One crisp, fall evening I strapped on my boots and stepped into a decision that would define my life forever! It all started when I was determined that I could convince a friend that he was wrong and I was right. But first, I had to visit his church – to be fair- and get on with winning our on-going, yet good natured argument.
Icy air chilled my face as I admired the radiant orange, yellow, and red tones painting oak and maple leaves, which lined the side streets as we headed to our destination. Descending temperatures did nothing to lessen the sweetness of that memorable Sunday night in November of 1979.
My newly acquired friend, Joe, had shared a lot about being ‘born again’ and I shared a lot about religion and knowing the ‘right’ information. Soon we came to the decision that I should visit his church before further discussion continued. We entered Wildwood Chapel and my heart began to race. For such a large church it was quite friendly and full for an evening meeting. The music stirred and my heart soared with worship like I’d never experienced. It was lively, focused, and uplifting to be there among so many who were not ashamed to show their love for the King of Kings. And the preaching was with authority and applicable for daily living. Once the pastor started to pray discomfort exploded inside me and my heart thudded an uncomfortable beat. He offered an alter call and many people moved to the front near the podium. This was also a new experience for me. I’d never been a part of anything so freely worshipful and amazing.
But it was when he said there was one more girl whom the Lord was calling to Himself that my heart began pounding so hard that I expected everyone around me to hear it’s treacherous beating. It was hard to admit that I was wrong and that Joe was right, but I decided to put my head down and move past him toward the front. I was prayed for in the most wonderful and personal way. It was then that I asked Jesus into my heart. The most wonderful sense of belonging filled me and overflowed. That sensation of daughterhood has continued to flourish and deepen over the years. Even during times when I ‘ve felt so undeserving and common. And times I’ve felt like a disappointment to others. He has always been faithful to fill me with His presence as He guides my path. What a wonderful exchange took place that November evening, so long ago, when I’d accepted His free gift of love, which replaced my unworthy works and a blurry desire to be good enough. It was a FALL I’ve thought of ever after. A FALL I will never forget or regret.