Somewhere in those formative years, God gave me a big vision. At St. Benedicts, during worship, my hands lifted, tears streaming down my cheeks, I heard myself say, “Okay, I’ll go to Grass Valley.” Then I came to my senses and said to Him, “You’ll have to tell me where that is, first.”
The following evening, I attended Concord Christian Center, and while worshipping, another vision descended. I saw a large building formed in the shape of a striking cross. The head of the cross housed an auditorium with 1,500 seats. I saw a succession of Christian stage plays, concerts, and crusades. A cafeteria occupied the leg of the cross, situated in an arm was a bookstore with a coffee shop, which also served as the foyer to the building. The other arm, carved out of a hill of soft rock, contained television studios.
Reached by a circular staircase in the foyer, the upstairs housed meetings rooms in the leg, offices occupied the arm above the television studios and a chapel in the head of the cross perched above the underground auditorium. With lights edging the roof, flying overhead the cross could clearly be seen. Beautiful lawns and gardens surrounded the building, and I marveled at the specific detail I was seeing. I knew nothing about visions.
I asked the Lord to show the vision to John. He told me John would not see it. So I explained what I had seen to my husband, and he reminded me that we knew a ministry with an office on Grass Valley Road in Auburn who might want to have it. I wrote them, detailing the vision, and they invited us to a Board meeting, rather, they invited John. They did not believe women could receive from the Lord or that women should be involved in ministry.
One Saturday, the men met, brunched, talk about the vision, prayed, and sent John home after determining not to accept it as being theirs. So I put the vision on the shelf. Let God take it back and explain it later.
But it puzzled me. Why couldn’t John hear God speaking? I didn’t understand how someone could be a born-again Christian without having a relationship with Christ. Being a Christian means you are inside Christ and He is inside you, making His home in you. How could a born-again Christian not know Him intimately?
One day, we were lazing in the pool, hanging onto the side, our bodies stretched out in the water. I can float better than John, so his stretched out body lay on the long, submerged steps. I asked, “When you pray, do you see anything?”
“What do you mean by pray?”
“You know,” I coaxed, “when you talk to God or when you worship Him.”
“I don’t talk to Him very much. I mostly think about Him.”
“What do you think?” I didn’t want to proceed too fast or John might clam up.
“I think how beautiful He made the world.”
“Does He ever talk to you?” I turned onto my back and closed my eyes against the sun.
“I wouldn’t know His voice if I heard it.”
“So, you’ve never had a conversation with Him?”
“Nope.” Was that a tone of finality in his voice?
“So, I guess the answer to my first question is no, also.”
“What was your first question, I forgot.”
“If you see anything when you pray.”
I couldn’t resist. “Since you know that God wants to have an intimate relationship with you, why do you think you don’t hear His voice or see things?”
With that John abruptly stood up. “And I suppose you’re going to tell me why.”
I stood up. “No. I have no idea. I thought all Christians heard His voice and saw into the Spirit realm.”
“Maybe He doesn’t like me.”
“That isn’t true. He loves you and you know that.” I shooed away a bee.
“But you think He wants me to change.”
“Well, yes, I do.” I admitted, surprised at this turn to the conversation and yet realizing most of our conversations about God ended on the subject of change.
“If He loves me, why would He want me to change?” John stepped out of the pool. “I’m going for a Scotch. Want anything?”
“No, thanks.” I ducked under the water to get away from the bee. When I came back up, I called to his retreating back. “He loves you, but He doesn’t want you to be a homosexual.”
John leaned out the door. “Could you say that a little louder? I don’t think the Stinsons next door heard you.”