For years, Rachael Hagni shunned and feared her extra sensory perception. In dreams or visions, she had revelations of things to come. Usually, they were events that were happening to persons she knew. Well, not happening- going to happen.
Once in a while, she had told those people what might be, and the response was always to dub her as, sweet and caring but… a “little off base.” When her predictions came true, they called it co-incidence. She decided it was better to keep them to herself.
Rachael didn’t come to the “Faith Alive” weekend my first husband and her new pastor, Ferris, had scheduled. She wasn’t in the habit of participating in such events. But on the last day and evening, she was there. The joyous singing, the witnessing of those who’d come there to share their every day celebration of “God with us” and the conversations she overheard from members about how the event had deepened their faith, caught her up in the Spirit of their words and glow on their faces. In those moments, her own life was transformed.
The next day, Rachael knocked on my door. She wanted clarification about what had happened to her and, she felt I would understand. I did respond to her with my interpretation and we prayed together. From those moments, we became friends. Not only was I often allowed to help her, but just as often, she and her faith strengthened me. We said that God had made us “prayer partners”.
Prayer and faith gave Rachael the stability to place her numinous experiences under God’s umbrella and not her own. No longer did she fear them, they were God’s unusual gift, just as prodigies in music or math or savants are unusual capabilities given or made aware of in many persons. The visions or dreams lessoned and Rachael’s prayer life took precedence, blessing innumerable persons through the years. Sometimes they merged in importance. A book could be written about her prayer ministry and her teachings that strengthened others faith and her numinous experiences.
One example was her involvement with me when Ferris had a life threatening surgery. Her telephone prayers helped me get through the fears. And, then one day, I was amazed when she told me that she was “in the operating room” and described exactly what had happened. There was no way I could deny her “vision” since it was exactly what the surgeon told me had transpired.
When Ferris was re-appointed from her church to another, we stayed close and even developed nicknames that helped each other know what our current joys or struggles were. If I signed my letter: “Ruth” that meant I needed to lean on her. If I signed it Naomi, she could depend on my strength.
And the same was true in the way she signed her letters.
Or, if we phoned, she might say: “Hi, I’m Ruth today.” Or, “Hi, This is Naomi.”
For years we kept that friendship alive. Through Ferris’s death, through my lonely years, through my marriage to Don and she went “with me” on and in our mission trips to Chile. I went with her, too, through the trials and joys in her life.
Somehow, though, circumstances of the last fourteen years kept each of us active and occupied in consuming ways. We lost touch– me in California, her in Missouri. Until a day that was too horrible to bear alone.
My dear firstborn son was gone. He had died. It wasn’t like it was supposed to be. I was 90. I should have left, not him. My heart was torn to shreds. The phone rang. I answered. For the first time in at least ten years, Rachael/Naomi was on the other end. I said, “Oh, you called. Do you know? I sobbed, Wen is dead! Oh, Rachael, Wen is dead! I just now got the message.”
And she said, in her quiet, knowing voice ”I just felt your deep distress and knew I had to call.”
There are overwhelming examples of ‘numinous’ happenings. Let us not explain them away if we sense them in our lives. Just accept that God gives us glimpses of Spirit we do not know that we have. Why should we wonder? We are “made in God’s image. God is spirit and we worship God in spirit and in truth.”