Appointment in the Black Forest

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in Led By The Spirit | 0 comments

Appointment in the Black Forest

It was a warm August afternoon as we strolled the streets of Bad Herrenalb. My friend and I (both of us nurses) were doing a two-week internship in a clinic nestled in the Black Forest of Germany and had taken the afternoon off. Walking into town, we intended to shop, have coffee, and enjoy this charming tourist village made famous by its hot springs. Suddenly, however, something changed.

Deep within, I felt an inner urging, a stirring in my spirit, that we must return to the clinic at once. This made no sense, but I’d learned to respect these “inner promptings” of the Holy Spirit. I said to my friend, “I think we need to go back to the clinic at once.”

We left our shopping and made our way back up the hill to the clinic. Upon return, I wasn’t sure what to do. We wandered around for a while. I chatted with Dr. Lechler, the clinic chief, for a few moments. But I wondered, Is this why we had returned. The inner urging of the

Holy Spirit was still present. Not knowing what else to do, I suggested we go to the cafe across the street and have that coffee we planned to have earlier.

Bad Herrenalb

Bad Herrenalb

Sitting outside on the deck, we enjoyed the mysterious dark green forests and sounds of rushing streams. As we lingered in the late afternoon sun, sharing our impressions of this unique holistic clinic, I noticed the inner urging had quieted down—in fact it was gone.

At length, we finished our coffee and made ready to leave. As we made to leave, I heard a voice speaking in English. Glancing around, I saw a woman looking at me. “Can I borrow your hairbrush?” she asked.

Taken back for a moment, I hesitated; she looked ragged and worn, her dark hair dirty. Sensing a quickening within my spirit, I said, “Yes.”

Can you tell me if there is a God?

I found my brush and handed it over. Slowly, she began to brush back her hair. Then she looked up at me and asked, “Could I talk with you for a moment?”

I sat down and listened as she began to tell me her story. She’d lived in a witches’ coven in Berlin for three years and as a result had become schizophrenic. Sent to this clinic, she’d run away to France. Now she was back for to get her belongings; her parents would be arriving shortly to take her home. Then, with her dark, despairing eyes fixed on mine, her lips framed the question: “Can you tell me if there is a God?”

Judith Doctor cafe Black Forest

Can you tell me if there is a God?

“Yes, I can tell you that there is a God,” I replied. For the next 15 minutes I shared my God-stories with her. I told her of a God who loved me; who had healed my broken heart;  who had changed me.  As I talked I was sharing the love and life of God with her, and an amazing thing happened right in front of my eyes. I literally saw the wild, haunted look in her eyes disappear and peace flood her face.  The torment in her face was gone.

Shortly, her parents arrived and she left, but with a new light shining out of her eyes. I knew what had happened to this woman. Faith had entered her heart. She’d begun to believe in a living God.

Question: Sociologist Andrew Greely says 40% of adults report they have been in the presence of something larger than themselves that lifted them outside of themselves. Have you ever experienced God in your life?

 

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