Have you ever been experienced? – Well I have! – May 29, 2008

The title is from a song by Jimmy Hendrix – and no – I’m not talking about the drug culture. And yes – I will get back to part 2 of “Pictures of Magic Men” next week. But I first must relate something I experienced last night. Let me give a bit of background first. When I was an undergraduate at Aurora University, I had quite a few one-on-one discussions with a professor, who worked full time as a psychiatrist. Our discussions centered on phenomenology, existentialism, and Zen. What these three branches of philosophy (as if Zen fits either into the category of philosophy or religion), is that all are based upon experience.

So let’s get back to last night. The Christian motivational speaker Joel Osteen had a TV program, where he talked about going to other Christian programs. So a Protestant might attend a Catholic service, or in his father’s case (a minister by trade), he went to see a barefoot Pentecostal Minister. While the person wasn’t mentioned, I am sure it was Kathryn Kuhlman. Well, I heard about this priest from Chinatown, who is a healer. My Chinese friends, who frequent Chinatown, didn’t know who he was. But a chance Catholic acquaintance got me on the mailing list.

Last night, I attended a Ukrainian Catholic Service in the Chicago western suburbs, which reminded me of a Greek or Russian Orthodox service. For one thing, there were Icons in the sanctuary – not statues. The liturgy was beautiful, and afterwards, the healing priest was speaking. He told simple stories about God speaking to him, calling him “my son.” And my mind kept flashing to two things:

  1. A visit to Virginia in 2003, when a Pentecostal lay-minister touched me, and called me “my son.” While this is a story for another time, the words “my son” are the same, in both cases.
  2. A vision of God that is all good, and it reminds me of my visits to the Wednesday night testimony meetings at the Christian Science Church, and listening to the people sharing experiences.

When it came time to start the service, people came up for healing, and there were catchers, to keep people from falling. Guess what? When I was touched, I fell down. And it was a powerful experience. Later I told my mom (a devote Protestant), about this experience, and she responded, “I don’t believe in it.” Well, like Jimmy Hendrix and the psychiatrist/professor would agree, “I experienced it.” I’m not sure what the end results will be, but I know one thing: I’m going to visit this person again.

Randy Kemp



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