A Spirit Thing

Life itself is a spiritual journey, whether we realize it or not.

Jack and I were newlyweds when the “Charismatic Movement” swept through the church. Yes, even in small town Ontario, even in Reformed circles. I had only become a Christian a few years earlier. Eager to learn about God, I was genuinely interested in spiritual gifts. We had several friends who spoke in tongues, talked about prophetic teaching and prayed for miracles on a regular basis. They assured me a Great Awakening was imminent, if not the end of all time. Far be it from me to miss either possibility because of ignorance or skepticism.

One evening our friends invited us to a Holy Spirit Conference in a large urban church. A thousand people crammed the auditorium. Excitement charged the air. Special music stirred the soul. A talented speaker delivered an engaging message. The service culminated in an altar call. A crush of people moved forward. To my great surprise, Jack joined them.

Misty-eyed, I watched two men lay hands on my husband’s shoulders. Their lips moved rapidly (presumably in prayer). I stood transfixed as slowly but surely, the men eased Jack down onto the floor. They continued praying over him for a moment and then moved onto the next person standing in line.

Minutes dragged by until Jack returned to my side. I took his hand and searched his face for clues as to what had happened. He leaned in and whispered, “The pews are made in Quebec.”

“What?!” I gasped.

“The pews are made in Quebec,” he said. “I read it on the bottom of the bench while I was lying on the floor. That’s it. I was waiting for a power surge or something. But that was it.”

Between two points

On the way home we stopped for coffee. Jack asked one of our friends, “What was supposed to happen to me?”

“Oh,” she said with a confident smile, “Just you wait and see. It doesn’t always happen at once, but you’ve been slain by the Spirit. Things are going to change in your life. Big things.”

We waited. Nothing happened. No lightning bolts, anyway. Years passed. The whole charismatic paradigm simmered down. But my desire to learn more about God didn’t wane. That’s a Spirit thing right there.

An elder on home visitation once asked me, “Where are you in your spiritual journey?”

I thought for a minute, then replied, “Somewhere between the point of salvation and my time to go home, I guess.” I wasn’t being cheeky. I just couldn’t honestly say where I was along that continuum. I’d likely respond the same today. Only God could accurately answer that question.

This much I do know – there’s a God in heaven watching over me. I don’t deserve his love or forgiveness, but he sends them anyway. This heart that used to rebel now beats for him, albeit imperfectly. If you’re looking for miracles, I reckon I am one. Life itself is a spiritual journey, whether we realize it or not. To God be the glory!

Can I get a witness?


  • Heidi VanderSlikke

    Heidi VanderSlikke lives on a farm in Mapleton Township with her husband Jack. They share their home with a gigantic Golden Retriever named Norton, who thinks he's a lap dog. Heidi and Jack have three happily married children and seven delightful grandkids.

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