A Vision of being Knighted in 1993:

Before the latest turn of the century, the United States Navy Chaplains had a weekend retreat program, designed to help people deal with deep spiritual issues. On these weekends, a chaplain and 5 volunteers went to a secluded place with about 20 or so people. Over the years of serving as a volunteer, I learned that while people had a stated reason for wanting to go on these retreats, usually something much deeper was bothering them.

This is a small story about a small part on one of those weekend retreats.

At one of these CREDO Personal Growth retreats, I had an unusual experience during a music set on a Friday evening. During these "music sets", we sit around in a very large circle, all facing inwards so we can see each other.

The volunteers are supposed to be observing people, being with them during the songs.

However, on this particular Friday evening, I did not do that at all. I felt like I went into a trance. Witnesses said I looked like I was having a heart attack, as I sat leaning back in my chair, looking up with my eyes closed, chest heaving rapidly.

I was somewhat aware of that, yet I was mesmerized by the scene playing out before me. I was watching a knighting ceremony. A flame-like figure barely stood out against a flaming background. I could not make out the details, and noticed the scene being replayed, with the background lighting turned down so that I could see much better.

It worked, as now I could better see and even recognize the flame-like figure as a regal one, as a divine one, as Jesus. He was reaching out toward me with a flaming sword, touching me on my shoulders, as if knighting me in a medieval ceremony.

I tried to cry out in protest, but merely thought the words, "I don't deserve this!" His gentle reply was, "Not because you deserve this, but because you need this."

Later, when we were processing what went on inside us during the music, one of the men focused years of anger at his father at someone convenient, namely me. He called me out to the center of the room, and standing in front of me, only a few feet away, barely maintaining emotional control, he proceeded to talk about what his father had done. He was livid, animated, and flaming.

I was amazingly calm throughout the tirade. In addition to being verbally abusive he was barely under control, physically tense. He was standing, clenching his fists at his sides, as if he was about to pounce on me for all the pain he had been put through.

All I could remember going on in my mind was: "Not because you deserve this, but because you need this."

I could focus on the little boy in front of me: his pain, his heartache, his disappointment. I barely even felt his anger. I apologized to him for all the pain he had suffered, after all, he did not deserve it. I repeatedly told him he did not deserve it.

(My team members later reported that they were afraid for me, believing he would strike at any minute, and amazed at my lack of concern for what he was poised to do at any minute. Their concerns were not without merit, as we have had team members be attacked from time to time as people got so into their pain that they forgot who was in front of them.)

It all turned out very well, he never physically attacked me. In fact, after he calmed down, we hugged and cried and hugged some more.

Later that night, during a break, I told my team members of the vision, and of how I was convinced I was totally safe, not because I deserved the safety, but because I needed it. No one argued either point!

This is one of many reasons for me to call Him, "My provider."