So......after a couple of weeks of taking Grandma to church, I did start to wonder what all this church stuff was about. There was an atmosphere that I didn't feel part of though didn't feel excluded from. Not having been to church particularly in my life I had no idea of church etiquette - which actually turned out to be a fab thing.
I understood Communion was something that happened in a service which anyone could do - little did I know how religious organizations had managed to put such a structure around it to try and keep people like me out! Thankfully St Alkmunds in Derby were not bound up in this structure and therefore did not make me feel unwelcome.
So..... I would take Grandma up to the communion rail and receive bread and wine myself - it would have been rude not to! Then the Sunday came when I knelt down at the rail, received communion and felt Grandma's nudge for me to help her get up - then she nudged me again - but I was going nowhere. In that space on my knees, eyes closed, I felt Jesus say Hello.
I can't say for certain there was a voice, but there was a presence that could not be mistaken for anyone but Jesus (remembering that I really had no idea who this Jesus bloke was). I do not know how long I stayed there on my knees, I do remember becoming aware that the rest of the congregation were singing. When I opened my eyes there were two lovely Christians with me praying around me, they said very little out loud. My confusion about what had just happened obviously showed in my face and they suggested I go through to the quiet chapel with them to talk about it. There they sort of made some formal introductions to this new Man in my life. I closed my eyes and started a conversation with this Man, who just repeated over and over to me how pleased he was to meet me properly.
I was brought back to earth with a bit of a bump - I'd totally abandoned poor Grandma in the main church and she was waiting to go home - someone came and found me for her in the end. I'll never forget the time when she turned around to me and said that I didn't need to tell her what happened because she knew - she had been praying for me for 22 years and she knew that Jesus was answering those prayers.
My faith seemed to grow by the hour - I was very gently nurtured by one of those lovely Christians who was with me at the beginning of this journey. I often think about her and what a faithful servant to Christ she was for me. I must remember to contact her again (having not done so for many years now!). I could not read enough of the bible, she was able to lend me just the right books (most of them very old publications - I remember Hinds Feet on High Places being one of them).
So, Jesus called me and gave me the support and the faith to follow him, life has been a continuing journey since then but I feel so very very grateful to have had Him by my side for almost 1/2 of my life now.