19-The Prodigal Daughter Runs Home

19-The Prodigal Daughter Runs Home

In my soul-searching over my dad’s slide into alcoholism, it seemed imperative that I talk to someone about my confusion and my questions as soon as possible.

Looking around at the people in my life, I beheld the merrymakers in the bars, my partying girlfriends, and the teachers I knew.

There were two women on the faculty who stood out.

When I expressed an interest in finding out more about her relationship with God, Raina*, who seemed like a very spiritual woman, invited me to dinner. After dessert she excitedly led me into a room where there were exhibited on a dresser top several small pictures depicting Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and some other religious figures.


Bells and whistles went off inside me. I knew with everything in me that the only true God was Jesus Christ.

And I knew who I would talk to next.

Jackie, my classroom assistant when I started at Glenn Duncan School, and Joe were delighted to take me to church the next Sunday.

the ProdigalSomething wonderful happened inside me as I listened to the 200 worshiping voices and a message about the Bible.

Peace entered my soul, and I knew I was home and safe.

There were no Gothic spires and stained glass windows in that warehouse building.

There were no serious-faced altar boys, nor was there the subtle smell of incense.

There was something very tangible and very familiar, even though I could not name it.

I realized later that it was the Holy Spirit, welcoming me, comforting me, filling up my desperate heart with the same joy and love that I was witnessing on every face.

My life changed immediately and dramatically, even before I understood about the born again doctrine.

I just fell into my Father’s embrace and He hugged me tight. We were reconciled.

In November, 1974, I had walked into the tail-end of the Charismatic Renewal, which had been like a tsunami wave of the Holy Spirit in America and in the world that brought Episcopalians, Catholics, Methodists, hippies, and other seekers into the stream of life with God.