Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.16.46 PMAt the age of 12, my family and I had been living in Puerto Rico for a year. We had been living for about 3 months in my aunt Amparo’s house until my father was able to find employment.

After my father was settled in his new job, we moved 3 towns over where we rented an old house in front of a cow-farm and next to a supermarket. The Supermarket’s freezer fans faced the dinning room and kitchen with a constant, loud humming sound that eventually we learned to ignore but missed whenever the electric service was temporarily cut from the vicinity.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night with the sudden urge to empty my bladder… It was a dark, “quiet” night- perfect for sleeping. When I returned back to bed, suddenly my whole surrounding environment changed.

The darkness became intense and I suddenly became aware of a transcendent presence who’s attention was focused on my mother. I could hear her talking to the presence, and I could hear the presence talking with her. I don’t remember what they were talking about, but it was as if my mother was praying and God answering. The transcendent voice sounded like a vibration that I could not interpret.

Then suddenly I felt how the transcendent presence “turned” its focus upon me- while in the distance I could see the speck of a white light that shined its rays through the darkness. The voice of the transcendent being seemed to echo from every direction, as if I lived and had my being inside its sound…lord-sri-caitanya-mahaprabhu

The light began to draw close to me very rapidly, while the transcendent voice said in Spanish:

Tu tienes que volver a mi, porque tu eres mio. Tu estas lejos de mi.

The literal English translation: “You must return to me, because you are mine. You are far from me.”

While the voice continued to echo the same message the light continued to draw closer. In a matter of a few seconds, I was able to make out the form of a man dressed in Western clothes (jacket, shirt, pants) who’s clothes and person seemed to be made out of pure light. And even stranger, the man was kneeling in a posture of prayer.

The next day I woke up to go to school (I was in 5th grade of Elementary school) with the usual morning rush…but it wasn’t until a couple of hours later that I recalled the vision I had experienced. I began to cry, wondering what it was that God meant by the words he uttered. I asked myself: “Who was the kneeling man of light?” I knew it wasn’t Jesus…and besides, what did God mean when he said: “You must return to me?” Even at that young age, I knew that “returning to God” was Biblical language that meant turning from our sins and returning to communion with God. (Joel 2:12)

But at that age I was still very innocent! Was God referring to the extra doughnut I had sneaked by mom? Was God displeased with the fact that a few nights before I had been “making out” (kissing) with my pretend-girlfriend-pillow?

Throughout the years I have meditated over the voice’s message- and never fully comprehended it. One thing is for sure, the words “…you are mine,” have been my light during some of the darkest times of Pastoral ministry. But what did God mean with “you must return to me” and “you are far from me”? Was God referring to my regular sins and calling me to repentance? Or is the message deeper than God’s concern with that extra-pepperoni pizza slice I shouldn’t have eaten?

I think that I’m finally begDad1inning to understand the message- or maybe I’m just more confused than ever. If he is calling me to “return to Godhead,” could it be that I pre-existed before my birth? (John 9:1-3; Jeremiah 1:5; et. al.) Certainly believing in such things would be contrary to orthodox Christian teaching! Certainly many Evangelicals would say that the voice was a demon or worse, indigestion.

So what do these things mean? I certainly don’t know… but I do know this, that God is way greater than our “statements of faith,” and that the power of his word and his spirit gives everyone “life, breath and everything.” (Acts 17:25) Sometimes the best way to “return” to God is to simply lay still and “know” that God is God…and that he is ultimately in charge.

Psalm 46:10- Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”