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?