early perceptions

As I drove across the hills today, I was pondering how our sense of God begins to take form.  Not the conversion experience per se, but the fore-runners that only become significant in retrospect.

When I tried to remember ‘first impressions’ two things came to mind:

First, sitting on the (slightly prickly, horse-hair filled) blue velvet couch with Dad reading a children’s bible and saying ‘I don’t know if it’s true, but if it’s not, it should be.’ — Still, I think, a hugely powerful statement, though he doesn’t remember making it.

Second, my sixth form British Studies teacher sneaking John 1 into preparations for a Mediaeval Christmas celebration.   I can’t remember now if she explained it, or if it was just the way she read it, but for the first time I made the now-taken-for-granted link between the Word and Jesus.

I suppose if you’d asked me the right question, I’d have been able to say that 1 John was about Jesus before that, but in that moment, the vast implications began to emerge.

So, what are your stories?  … first thing you were told about God that ‘stuck’? … first perception of God as present, real, relevant or desirable?

p.s.– I think I’ve told you that 1 John story before.  Perhaps too often.  So I suppose that offers a third question:  what story of faith do you keep returning to and why?

6 thoughts on “early perceptions”

  1. First sense of God: reading the book of Revelation in the New Testament I’d just been given by the Gideon Society (S1 at school). This now strikes me as very odd. I was 13, and it was wildly exciting. (I still wasn’t confirmed till 15 years later)

  2. My first religious memory is this – I was playing with the little plaster crib set my godmother had given me. Suddenly, I had an overwhelming sense of the love shown here – something I would be hard put to it to rationalise. Nothing I was being told at the time – just as though the little plaster figures had indeed become icon – a window through.

  3. I suppose I keep returning to this because it was a concept that wore in the washing as they say – it proved a good serviceable idea. The insight continued to matter. Whereas the little altar I put up in the corner of my bedroom with birthday candles in bottle tops was cute, did did not continue to mean much. (Convent educated child)

  4. I’m having a really hard time thinking of first impressions. I find this somewhat alarming.

  5. Going to a Piskie church for the first time at the age of 29ish and hearing the words of confession and absolution and knowing that I was forgiven. I will never forget that moment.

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