I was born in Kimberley, South Africa - the city of diamonds and a pale blue sky that stretches beyond heaven and gets so hot that it is capable or melting the earth's core! It was an especially magical place in the 1970's.
My mother was a non-practising Roman Catholic. My dad turned to the Anglican Church when he was diagnosed with cancer. He died aged 38. Fr. Barnes became his friend and they discussed God whilst drinking beer! I clearly remember liking Fr. Barnes. We weren't a religious family but pictures of Jesus as a young boy hung on the walls in the various bedrooms. At the age of about ten, I remember having a spectacular dream of Jesus and His sacred, exposed heart! I think it may have been triggered by the catechism classes I was attending.
I attended a Christian Youth Camp and the late age of 20! It was something to do and I was determined to be sent home in disgrace as quickly as possible. That didn't happen - much to my chagrin, but, didn't I go and have a wonderful, spiritual experience instead..... Without warning, I suddenly felt a heavy weight being lifted from my shoulders and then a wave of delicious peace descending on and within me. I felt purer than snow and cleaner and sparking clean. I was dumbstruck! (Out of character for me..) I didn't understand what had happened, but, I liked it. It was the start of my journey Home.
I have stumbled, wandered off the path, returned to the path but I have never forgotten that day at Harrisdale on the banks of the Vaal river outside Kimberley. Something definitely happened to me that day! Despite everything (and, God knows how far and how often I have fallen) I know God is with me and will never leave nor forsake me. I don't have the courage or strength to cope with life without Him. Ond day I will hear His voice calling; "Coo'ee Eileen - it's time to go Home!"